Sunday, May 27, 2012

Fez Fashion Day

Saturday evening’s Fez Fashion Show went off without a hitch. Planned to be the first of many, it was attended by a crowd of around 200 and was held in the luscious surrounds of Jardin des Biehn in the Fez Medina.

The show featured the work of three designers – Karina Duebner from Fez; Mahmoud Benslimane from Tangier and Bangkok-based Anan Sorsutham. It was co-sponsored by the French Institute in Fez, Fashion and Mode magazine.

The three collections were extremely diverse; from the rich fabrics of Central Asia by Duebner’s label Tamerlane’s Daughters, though to Benslimane’s contemporary versions inspired by traditional Moroccan styles, finishing with more classically structured pieces by Sorsutham, with his label Moi Anan.

Karina Duebner models one of her stunning creations

To begin the event, Duebner took to the catwalk, and her half-German, half-Kazakh features set the tone perfectly for the 13 looks on show. Her garments were intended to evoke the “brutality, splendor and romanticism” of the era of the 14th century conqueror of Central Asia, Tamerlane.

They did this with richly embroidered and patterned fabrics (some antique) crafted into contemporary garments, often with unusual shapes and detailing. Duebner sources her fabrics from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkey, along with some antique Persian and Ottoman pieces, meaning each garment is a one-off.

Mahmoud Benslimane
Mahmoud Benslimane’s garments use Moroccan embroidery, on fabrics such as satin and silk, to give a fresh take on traditional designs. While his female models wore Maghrebi-style designs, his male model wore two pieces inspired by nomad clothing.

Thai designer Anan Sorsutham’s collection was last on the catwalk.

He takes classic shapes, such as suit jackets and dresses, and gives them a bold new look through the use of techniques such as asymmetrical detailing. His palette was more restrained than the other two designers - beige, black and white, offset with flashes of red. He has done a number of collections for Paris Fashion Week.

Given the success of the event and the potential for showcasing local and international designers in such a picturesque and pleasant setting, this is likely to be the first of big things to come on the fashion front in Fez.

Where to buy? Karina Duebner’s creations are sold through Couture Lab in London and on-line through Tamerlane’s Daughters. Anan Sorsutham’s designs can be purchased online through Moi Anan. Mahmoud Benslimane’s creations are available through selected boutiques in Tangier.

See behind the scenes here

Photographs: Suzanna Clarke & Sandy McCutcheon
Story: Suzanna Clarke


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