The Mediterranean wardrobe offers a richness of styles which are continuously reinterpreted by the new fashion scene.
A modern tale with a thousand and one versions, an audacious vision which the Maison Méditerranéenne des Métiers de la Mode (MMMM) reveals through 3 Mediterranean laureates this week.
Today our Moroccan 2016 OpenMyMed Prize laureate Ghitta Laskrouif shares her inspirations with us.
What are your sources of inspiration?
The diversity in Morocco inspires me a lot for my creations, with a unique mix of ethnicities, languages, dialects, music, dance, religion… Each region in Morocco has its own influences. Over and above the creation of garments, I want my work to reflect Moroccan society, which presently is in the middle of an identity crisis marked by geopolitical and socio-cultural upheavals, and ideological challenges.
In terms of fashion design, I get my inspiration from people who are nowhere near the glitter and sequins of the catwalk... I admire the way they mix and juxtapose their clothes and accessories, but always looking for maximum comfort. It shows through in my collections where I, in turn, combine different garments, but mixing more aestheticism and comfort.
I like finding beauty in the work of others, and linking themes which serve as a bridge between several universes and artists; for example interior decoration, photography, painting, music...
That is what I find so inspiring!
Tradition & Inspiration, how do you interpret this duo?
How is your traditional heritage interpreted in your collections ?
In my work I want to promote a new perspective on heritage, and present a style of Moroccan fashion that is more than just bling-bling caftans. But also more than the clothes worn by models swaying their hips and the other clichés that play on the codes of luxury and femininity.
My objective is to sublimate a particular detail which relates to Moroccans and create a dialogue using my garments. The idea is to anchor them in reality, but with more comfort, concentrating more on the details of our daily lives and our culture which otherwise would go unnoticed.
I like raw and pastel colours, natural forms and fabrics, to provide a different perspective on traditional clothes. I want to get them away from a stereotyped context and integrate them into an active generation's space and urban attitude.
For a long time Morocco has been Eurocentric, which created a clash for our generation. Although we have never experienced life in the protectorate years, we have felt the influence of this system through the memoires and stories told by our parents and grandparents, our lifestyle, education system, immigration... It has become a weight which has ended up by suffocating us.
During the last 50 years there was no place for creativity. Our country has been locked into the traditional stereotypes, particularly in the textile sector of the multinationals. Like the majority of Moroccans, from the King to the people, I think that everybody is hungry for what is made locally. It is a manner of showing our identity and heritage in all sectors of activity.
Could you choose one piece from your collections that interprets this duo?
It is a new line of basic printed garments that I called “zamane”, which literally means « the past » or « era » in Arabic. It is inspired by Moroccan tents also called Makhzen tents, or caïdale tents. You see them quite often as part of Moroccan daily life and they play a major part in the Morocco of bygone days. These tents were erected to honour important guests, symbols of authority and celebrations. They are made from strong, white canvas and are decorated with black motifs recalling the qandil oil lamps. On top they have golden orbs recalling the period of the makhzen and the privileged system of the power of the monarchy in the past. Inside the tent is decorated with large mural hangings in richly coloured materials. Green and red fabrics are cut and sewn to create a design: the Mihrab, that indicates the direction of the Kaaba in Mecca, being the direction that Muslims should face when praying.
I admire this approach to design which is specific to Moroccan craftsmen and often goes unnoticed. They put a lot of research into their motifs and symbols, which I try and echo when interpreting tradition and inspiration...
Get all the news on Ghitta Laskrouif here