Morocco Pavilion and Maison de l'Artisan partner for Expo 2020 Dubai – Gulf Today

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Flowing lines define this dress.
Muhammad Yusuf, Features Writer
After their first successful fashion show in October, Partners of the Morocco Pavilion, Maison de l’Artisan, hosted their second show at Expo 2020 Dubai (Nov. 25) in their series of five fashion shows, curated by the top established Moroccan designers which aims to introduce people to the Morocco Pavilion. Future shows are scheduled for December 30 and January 27 and February 24, 2022.
The participation of Maison de l’Artisan aims to make discoveries within the Moroccan Pavilion — a living national treasure passed on from generation to generation, linked to the customs and ancient medinas of Moroccan cities. It is also an art that is part of the identity, culture and character of the Moroccan people. The event series highlights and gives visibility to Moroccan handicraft products, while simultaneously contributing to the preservation of rare Moroccan craftsmanship, mixing it with modernity to make the designs all the more attractive.
morocco-dress A fashion statement from the Morocco Pavilion.
Morocco’s renowned designers Kacem Sahl, Myriam Bouafi and Mohamed Elarbi Azzouz, also known as Romeo Couture, in partnership with Maison de l’Artisan, showcased Morocco’s handicrafts and rare craftsmanship, as they drew inspiration from their origins, experiences and encounters, while honouring the traditional caftan by innovatively combining inspirational elements and revolutionary earthly details. The objective was to show the various visitors the cultural richness of Moroccan craftsmanship — a thousand-year-old know-how that has been able to transform and is valued through contemporary ready-to-wear creations. With its local production which uses environmentally friendly materials and processes, craftsmanship plays a critical role in the sustainable development and economy of the regions of Morocco.
The current artistic programme is set to show the world the intergenerational, intercultural and eclectic aspects of Moroccan culture and reflect the image of the Kingdom within the Morocco Pavilion. After a successful stint at Caftan as a Young Talent in 2015, designer Bouafi has become a key figure when it comes to creating traditional dresses. She works on fabrics that are preferably plain, using flowing materials such as sheet and silk crepe, to allow for unrestricted self-expression and to give free rein to her imagination. She displayed her newest collection “Splendor and Diversity” at the fashion show, which was inspired by her majestic duchess satin collection.
According to her, its “fall” and flow gives one the feel of royalty. Designer Sahl has succeeded in imposing himself in the closed world of haute couture, with his successful interplays between the traditional caftan and the modern dress. Each year, he innovates a variety of unique belt designs for his creations. In 2009, he made a resin-based belt with inlaid natural flowers. At the Morocco Pavilion, he unveiled his latest collection “Roses of M’gouna”; the designer took inspiration from Persian civilization — a long-time point of interest for him, with a soft spot for the hanging gardens of Babylon. Azzouz, known in the fashion world as Romeo Couture, was born in Tetouan. He has cemented his national and international presence through his designs; Romeo tries to preserve the identity of the traditional Moroccan caftan, while throwing in sparkles of modernity.
His collection “Moroccan Sahara”, is a perfect example of his style. Located in the “Opportunity” district, near the United Arab Emirates Pavilion and close to Al Wasl Plaza, the central monument of Expo 2020 Dubai, the Moroccan Pavilion offers, in addition to the Permanent Exhibition, an artistic, cultural, economic and scientific programme that is diverse, rich and inspirational.
Following the theme “Legacies for the future, from inspirational origins toward sustainable progress”, Morocco’s participation at Expo 2020 Dubai is designed to invite visitors to (re)discover the Kingdom though its history, identity and talents, as well as its tangible achievements in a variety of sectors. Through the lens of three major themes, the Pavilion proposes a vision to the world of the Kingdom’s commitment to the future of our planet: it is that of a nation’s abundance, based on the strength of its talents and the dynamic of progress that drives initiative in Morocco.
To offer visitors a special experience, the Permanent Exhibition of Morocco at the heart of its Pavilion has been designed as an excursion, with doors leading to 13 rooms. Each of the rooms constitutes an original space that plays with a surprise effect created by the elements presented, offering multiple opportunities to (re)discover Morocco and the strong continuity that connects its past, present, and the shape of its future.
Morocco is a rich country in terms of history, traditions, people, culture, religion, climate and geography. Every one of these aspects of the country influences how Moroccan people are dressed. Among the variety of clothes in Morocco, we find the djellaba and caftan, two fine garments that speak of the luxurious clothing style of the country. If you are walking down the streets of any city of Morocco, you will certainly see some men and women wearing long and loose hooded gowns over their normal clothing.
This garment is called the djellaba. It covers the entire body except for the head, the hands and the feet. The caftan refers to the Moroccan garment that looks like the djellaba, but without a hood. Its origins go back to the Ottoman Empire, as it was one of the finest Ottoman clothing worn by the elite. But like other garments, it has gone through changes over the years.
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