Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Festival Fringe: Six Designers Exhibit in Fez

There’s a lovely sense of whimsy about this tiny exhibition at the Jardin des Biehn, writes Stephanie Clifford-Smith. Six artists from Morocco and Europe are represented with pieces ranging from jewellery to textiles, clothes and accessories.

Jewellery by Lilou Jouve
The whimsy lies in the way the pieces are displayed as much as their designs and is perhaps most apparent in the jewellery of Lilou Jouve, (Fez, Aix en Provence) immediately to the right of the entrance. Bracelets and rings feature knitted silk beads on rubber tubing while necklaces alternate those same coloured beads with glass and ceramic ones. Bracelets are displayed on aged wooden mannequin arms or suspended from the ceiling on invisible fishing line, appearing to float.

Bags by Catherine Gaillard
Catherine Gaillard (Fes, Paris) focuses on statement totes in metallic animal skin finishes. Tie belts/necklaces with soft, strokable leather tassels in muted turquoise and teal hang from a dowel like horsetails in repose.

An artist whose name suggests a single minded determination to be listed first in the phone book, AAA Alfred (Fez, Berlin), works in supple punched suede stitched in geometric patterns. Some pieces are functional – bags, wallets – while others such as flat sheets of worked leather are either objects in their own right or await some higher purpose.

A cluster of calico dressmaker’s dummies is the perfect, plain foil for Michel Biehn’s (Fez)
quirky necklaces. They’re all long, asymmetrical assemblies of mixed media beads and tassles of varying ages and finishes, many parts appearing repurposed.

Works in leather by Alfred Berlin

What appear to be straightforward garments by Moi Anaan (Bangkok) all sharing a sunburst feature on their silky fabrics warrant closer inspection. These ostensibly simple shapes all have unusual dart placements adding interest.

Dress designed by Moi Anan
Nina Gilbert (Fez) may be a local but this sunny corner of the exhibition seems heavily influenced by the south of France or maybe the women's costumes of the Rif Mountains. There’s a striped theme running through her collection which includes espadrilles, kilims and outsized cushions. The predominantly fluoro palette really amps up the wattage.

Three photos above: textiles by Nina Galbert

Text: Stephanie Clifford-Smith
Photos: Suzanna Clarke

Fez Fabrik exhibition at Gallery Jardin des Biehn, 13, Akbat Sbaa, Douh 30100, Fez Médina until June 16. 

Fes Festival Fringe program
Fes Festival Medina Map
Fes Festival Food! 
Fes Festival Site

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