The Morocco Fashion Weeka fashion event reminiscent of the souks
On June 3 and 4, 2022, the ocher capital took on a new look. In the halls of its souks, colorful kaftans were gliding like furtive shadows. As the sun rises, these elegant silhouettes all seem to be going to the same place: the Mandarin Oriental.
This timeless property of over 20 hectares hosted the 46th edition of the Oriental Fashion Show. For two days, talented designers competed to redefine fashion. In their hands, women are no longer creatures made of flesh and blood. They transcend to the rank of goddesses.
The oriental fashion show: a tribute to oriental traditions
Maybe you have never heard of the Oriental Fashion Show before…
This event was born more than 18 years ago in Paris to give Oriental fashion back its prestige. At the crossroads of cultures, it reconciles the splendor of the rites of the past with more avant-garde clothing trends.
And this is not the only thing…
Through new sensory experiences, the Oriental Fashion Show encourages designers to question their place in the universe. Here is a striking example… Through one of the hot air balloon rides organized by Ciel d’Afrique, the discovery of panoramic landscapes stimulates creativity. Maybe even the next collection of one of its artistic directors will have the colors of the Sahara…
The Oriental Fashion Show is not only beautiful fashion shows. More than that, it is a movement, an invitation to explore the fusion between different cultural identities. Oriental costumes and caftans are honored, revisited to marry modern requirements.
For the aesthetes, the two days spent at the Morocco Fashion Week have been a festival rich in color and textiles. With a smile on their faces and full of gratitude, they thanked the organizing committee, namely the association “ Route de la soie et d’Al-Andalus “.
Under the banner of this association are gathered enthusiasts of oriental fashion. A little over 18 years ago, they began to draw attention with occasional fashion events. Very quickly, the talent of the designers spread beyond the borders. Paris, Milan, London, Marrakesh, Dubai, Doha, Kuwait, Istanbul, and many other fashion capitals opened their doors to the Oriental Fashion Show.
This year, it is in Morocco that the organizers decided to land. And they chose a setting at the height of the event, a place with a breathtaking beauty: the Mandarin Oriental.
The extraordinary beauty of the Mandarin Oriental in Marrakesh
No need to maintain the suspense any longer: Lookbook magazine loved the architecture of the Mandarin Oriental in Marrakesh.
From the moment you walk through the doors of the Mandarin Oriental Marrakesh, you’ll feel like you’re in front of a Berber palace. Each of the resort’s 54 villas is a tribute to this crucial element of Moroccan culture. The same goes for the nine suites nestled in lush vegetation and whose architecture is an ode to Berber know-how.
There is no intention to display ostentatious luxury here. No way. The place dazzles through the careful use of light and first-class materials. When it comes to the colors, once again, the Mandarin Oriental chooses sobriety. The establishment is painted in gray and white tones, sometimes sprinkled with dots of saffron.
And the story doesn’t end there.
It’s the setting of the Mandarin Oriental in Marrakesh that caught the eye of our experts. All in all, the hotel extends over 20 hectares where olive groves and rose gardens dominate. During one of our walks, we were pleasantly surprised to discover a garden of 100,000 delicately scented roses.
Modern, elegant, the Mandarin Oriental in Marrakesh offers an unforgettable experience. In the heart of the “ocher city”, this hotel has quickly become a mythical place. Indeed, in addition to its exceptional setting, it has reinvented the codes of gastronomy with its various restaurants.
Gourmets will enjoy dining at Shirvan, Ling Ling de Hakkasan, Pool Garden, Le Potager, and many other places that will leave them with unforgettable memories.
The show must go on !
Let’s enter into the heart of the subject. Concretely, how did the two days of Morocco Fashion Week unfold?
Friday June 3: a colorful start
11am: press conference
At 11 am., the organizers of the event welcome the press in one of the conference rooms of the Mandarin Oriental in Marrakesh. Facing the audience, they take a last breath. It is time to start…
For about an hour, the members of the association “ Route de la soie et d’Al-Andalus “ have reviewed the program of the event. Accompanied by some sponsors, they warmly thanked the media for their interest. And above all, they gave them an appointment at 6 pm for the opening of the red carpet.
6pm: guests’ arrival on the red carpet
It’s crazy to see the smart set that came to the Morocco Fashion Week!
Beautiful as usual, Laila Aziz left the crowd speechless. Artistic director of Kayat, the one who distinguished herself at the 53 Grammy Awards was up to her reputation. A little later, the beautiful Mahira Abdel Aziz illuminated the ceremony. She is a well known TV host in the Middle East and a lifestyle influencer. She expressed her joy to be at Morocco Fashion Week.
A little later, other celebrities have made a smashing entrance on the red carpet. The dancer Hanady Hany Mehanna posed gracefully for the photographers. Musician, actress and dancer, the Franco-Egyptian presented her most beautiful profile on the screen.
Similarly, the opera singer Farrah El Dibany honored Morocco Fashion Week with her presence. Alongside her, the paparazzi spotted the Tunisian Dorra Zarrouk gorgeously wearing a designer dress.
In addition to these celebrities, the red carpet was attended by representatives of several partner brands. Visoanska, Khadija Dinia and Hanane Berrada, the founders of @MyLuxuryLife, Mohamed Al Sagheer, Fadwa Benmansour of Taouil chocolate factory, and many others. All the people who supported this 46th edition of the Oriental Fashion Show were present.
6:45pm: time for catwalks
Finally! After several months waiting, the creators were able to display their know-how.
The first to have attempted this perilous exercise is none other than Amor Guellil. Native of Algeria, this rising star has made a strong impression. True to his “ TradiModern “ vision, he draws his inspiration from Algeria, the Mediterranean basin and contemporary currents.
Very avant-garde, he sophisticates the look of women without restricting their movements. In just a few years, Amor Guelil has managed to impose himself on the international. Just look at the suggestions he made at the Morocco Fashion Show to understand why.
Subsequently, Rena (Morocco / Spain) came to offer a more modern vision of the traditional kaftan. After 18 years spent working in finance, the beautiful brunette had an urge to return to the roots. That’s how Rena was born. An acronym for Renacimento (rebirth), the high-end brand creates kaftans for modern women.
Like her, the Czech designer Jitka Klett has been serving women for several decades. From the beginning, her goal was clear: to help women feel comfortable in their bodies. Thus, each of her creations is unique, designed to fit the character of the woman who will wear it.
During the Oriental Fashion Show in Marrakesh, Jitka Klett presented her new ready-to-wear collection in exclusivity. Called “Pura”, it earned her a standing ovation from the public.
Afterwards, it will be the Moroccan jewelry brand Diamant Noir Jewelery to make the show. Founded in Rabat in 1986, it has quickly conquered the aesthetes of the world. In Africa, the Middle East, Europe and all over the world, the brand brings together epicureans under the same banner.
It will then be Nün’s turn to be in the spotlight. The fourteenth letter of the Arabic alphabet, Nün is synonymous with lightness and audacity. A feminine brand that can be combined with masculine, Nün is one of the most striking discoveries of the Morocco Fashion Show.
Next, it will be the Dutchman Addy Van Den Krommenacker’s turn to appear on stage. Specialized in evening dresses, the designer has dressed both members of the royal family and the greatest American stars. A true fashion icon, he was already designing princess dresses when he was a child. Today, he dazzles the audience of Morocco Fashion Week.
Inspired by the movement of water on the sand, Hind Tahiri creates airy clothes that are perfect for hot weather. Based in Dubai for 15 years, Hind Tahiri pays tribute to her favorite travels through her collection called “cruises”.
Born in 1966, Zor draws on her dual Moroccan-Spanish culture to create impressive outfits. For 25 years, she has been styling for many celebrities and is frequently invited on TV shows. In 2022, she plans to launch a store in Casablanca.
Zineb Hazimi is of Moroccan origin and Italian nationality and she is determined to break the stereotypes about the hijab. With her collection “Abaya street couture”, she presents a more assertive, more ambitious face of the modest woman.
8pm: acceptance speech & cocktail
After the impressive fashion shows, the first day of Morocco Fashion Week ended with skillfully chosen words and a hearty cocktail.
Saturday, June 4, 2022: a heartfelt farewell
As the day before, the last day of Morocco Fashion Week began on the red carpet. From 6 pm, celebrities, VIPs and distinguished guests were rushing to the doors of the Mandarin Oriental in Marrakesh. After the fireworks on Friday, June 3, no way to miss the end of the events.
At 6:45 pm, the Lebanese designer Gemy Maalouf opened the ball. As the daughter of a textile craftsman, she inherited her family’s love of beautiful stoles. Today, through her creations, she pays tribute to her invaluable teachings.
Once the previous performance was over, it was time for Renata Couture to take the stage. Be careful not to confuse the two brands. Souad Chraibi, also from Morocco, has surrounded herself with a team of embroiderers, designers and stylists. In more than 30 years, Renata Couture has dressed many wives of European Presidents and of the Arab world.
Afterwards, designers Addy And Van Den Kromenacker (Holland), Wafaa Idrissi (Morocco) and co-designers Zeynep Erdoğan & Tophills (Turkey) revealed their latest collections. While the tension was already at its highest, two Moroccan designers once again stretched the boundaries of fashion. Who are they? Calamain and Salma Lazrak.
Already warmly applauded the day before, the Czech Jitka Klette made a second passage very noticed. And just because the closing was meant to be memorable, it was the Turkish Serhat Çağrıtekin’s turn to wrap up the show.
Having done all his schooling in Istanbul, the young designer quickly caught the attention of major designers. Today, he designs stage costumes for renowned artists. And that’s not all. He is also a man with a heart and frequently organizes fashion shows to benefit orphanages.
At 8:00 pm, after a very full day, the last day of Maroc Fashion came to an end. The organizers were deeply moved as they waved goodbye to the crowd. Or rather, to the press. Indeed, at 11 pm an after party was held in the lounges of the Mandarin Oriental in Marrakesh.
What happened there? Shh… It’s a secret that the Lookbook team is not allowed to reveal.
Gil Zetbase for Lookbook Magazine
Photographer Paul Tomasini