Over all the years The View from Fez has been reporting on the Fez Medina, we have never turned our attention to the most famous headgear in the world - the fez. In order to correct that, we sent our team out searching for "the perfect fez". Happily, we can report that our mission did not fail!
Anyone who watches the BBC programme, Doctor Who, will be aware that in the episode "The Big Bang", the Eleventh Doctor, played by Matt Smith, dons a fez, proclaiming that "I wear a fez now. Fezzes are cool." It is then blown up by River Song. He and a young Kazran Sardick also wear fezzes in "A Christmas Carol".
There are many other celebrity moments with the fez. The British comedian-magician Tommy Cooper always wore a red fez during his act. Laurel and Hardy wore fezzes in their film Sons of the Desert. Morocco Mole, the sidekick to Secret Squirrel wears a fez. And in the USA, the Shriners are notable for wearing fezzes. During the ending credits for The Ren & Stimpy Show, Ren and Stimpy can both be seen wearing fezzes in the background illustration and Aladdin and his pet monkey Abu both wear fezzes in the animated Disney film Aladdin.
Visitors to the Fez Medina will also be aware that they have become a symbol of the city and that they are available everywhere.
"I wear a fez now. Fezzes are cool." - Doctor Who
A cheap low quality one can usually be purchased for under fifty dirhams, while a high quality version will set you back around two hundred. The difference is easy to understand when you examine them. The best ones have an interior woven from fine bamboo strips, while the budget version is often simply cardboard. The best quality are made with felt-wool imported from Australia and New Zealand.
|The top quality fez|
Originally a Greek headgear fashionable among the inhabitants of the Aegean Islands, the fez was widely adopted in the Ottoman Empire in the early 19th century as a symbol of religion, progress and modernity.
The name comes from a Turkish word, but refers to the city of Fez in Morocco, which has a monopoly on the manufacture of fez caps.
|A turban is fine - but a fez is cool!|
|A face fit for a fez!|