Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Fez Fashion Day - Updated

Fez is making its name as a place for contemporary design with an historical twist. This week features not one but three significant events. Friday May 24 is the opening of Michel Biehn's exhibition Veils and Turbans and on Saturday May 25 is Fez Fashion Day; a fashion show followed by the opening of the Fez Fabrik design exhibition. 
A selection of turbans from Michel Biehn's extensive collection

Veils and Turbans - Friday May 24 at 7 PM at Dar Batha

Renowned designer and author Michel Biehn will be exhibiting around 50 veils and 50 turbans from the Islamic world from his extraordinary collection at the French Institute's Dar Batha until June 3.

He points out that while both veils and turbans are "nothing but a rectangle of fabric", they have a deeper symbolic significance.

"Veils are an issue in France," Michel says, referring to their being outlawed in 2010. "But I find it quite irrelevant. It's up to the individual - I don't see why the law should interfere. However, I am not making a political point, just showing a selection of costumes."

"As a whole, a veil protects the mystery of a woman. Whereas a turban is worn very differently. It symbolises potency...Everyone is now hooked on veils, and no one talks about turbans. If we want the world to work, we need both those energies."

Designer and author Michel Biehn

Fez Fashion Day - Saturday May 25 at 5.30 PM at Jardin des Biehn

Fashion styled by Alfred Berlin
Fez Fashion Day kicks off this Saturday with the showing of the work of two international designers - Alfred Berlin and Moi Anan. Sponsored by the French Institute, their clothing and accessories will grace the long, tiled runways of Jardin des Biehn. This is followed by the opening of the Fez Fabrik exhibition. Fez Fabrik is a newly created association which aims to encourage liaisons between international designers and local artisans. Six designers will contribute pieces to the exhibition, ranging from textiles and unique accessories through to unusual jewellery.

Alfred Berlin's section of the fashion show will be "a funky mix of past and present," according to the designer. "Inspirations came from how, in the old Medina of Fez, people mix traditional Moroccan clothes, such as kaftans, jellabas and babouches with contemporary street-style looks like Nike and Adidas." Accessories will feature strongly. "I'm trying to establish my brand based on recycling left over leather from Italian factories. It is about using hand made products, done by the young artisan generation."

Fashion styled by Alfred Berlin

Alfred's design background includes studies of theatre and costume at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Roma where he won a scholarship to continue his studies in sculpture and textile design at the Royal College of Fine Art in Belgium, which led to him being accepted at the Royal Academy of Arts in Antwerp. He has collaborated with numerous internationally recognised designers, including Antonio Marras and Kenzo, Giafranco Ferre and Studio Pollini.

Moi Anan's latest fashion collection

Moi Anan's vibrant and beautifully tailored designs were a stand-out at last year's Fez Fashion Day. His carefully tailored styling spans Thai tradition and Western modernity and has been shown at Paris Fashion Week. This new collection consists of more of thirty pieces, offering a sophisticated approach where traditional fabrics are given a new and unusual treatment.

Fez Fabrik exhibition - Saturday May 25 at 7.30 PM at Jardin des Biehn

Talisman jewellery by Michel Biehn

Following the fashion show will be the opening of the Fez Fabrik exhibition, featuring the work of six international designers - Nina Galbert; Catherine Gailliard; Lilou, Michel Biehn, Moi Anan and Alfred Berlin. This is also the inaugural event for Fez Fabrik, a new non-profit association dedicated to increasing opportunities for international designers and local artisans to create work together.

Striped hand-loomed throws by Nina Galbert

Through her business the Artisan Project, Nina Galbert has been sourcing and collaborating with local artisans for the past two years. The pieces in this exhibition are traditional, hand-loomed weaves and throws, with an emphasis on stripes.

Catherine Gaillard will be showing leather bags, which feature mixed colours and prints, while the jewellery of Lilou has a very contemporary approach, using materials like neoprene and silk. Michel Biehn will include a leather bag he has personally embroidered.  "It's got elements of the old world and the new world put together," he says. He will also offer a collection of talismans.

What: Veils and Turbans
When: Friday May 24 at 7 PM until June 3 
Where: French Institute, Dar Batha

What: Fez Fashion Day
When: Saturday May 25 at 5.30 PM
Where: Jardin des Biehn

What: Fez Fabrik exhibition
When: Saturday May 25 at 7 PM until June 16
Where: Gallery at Jardin des Biehn

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