Thursday, October 06, 2011

The Fez is Cool !

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".

Doctor Who
The Doctor includes a fez in his list of things he needs to help President Nixon in "The Impossible Astronaut". Even earlier in Doctor Who the Seventh Doctor wore a fez briefly in the serial "Silver Nemesis". The Doctor's fez is also present in the Doctor Who special episode "Death Is the Only Answer" which turns out to previously belong to Albert Einstein.

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!
The fez was initially a brimless bonnet of red, white, or black with a turban woven around. Later the turban was eliminated, the bonnet shortened, and the color fixed to red. Praying while wearing a fez - instead of a hat with brim - was easier because Muslims put their foreheads on the ground many times during the prayer sessions.

A face fit for a fez!
Visitors are often given a demonstration of how to wrap a turban, but it is hardly the fashion accessory you are most likely to choose once you get home. The fez, on the other hand, can look superb with a variety of outfits, from casual through to formal wear. The fez, is cool!



Nicole said...

What a surprise to see a wee Scottish face grinning from under a fez!

Anonymous said...

YES! Fezes ARE cool, especially when bought in Fez. Got mine in October 2011 in the Medina.

lbuness said...

Got mine in the Fez Medina Feb 2012 and it is now back in Canada