Text and Video, Vivian Kelly
Since receiving an email from Assouline’s Press Office about a book on- La Mamounia - the legendary hotel, located in where else – Marrakech.
“Embark on a sensuous journey celebrating the refined Moroccan lifestyle—from lush gardens to luxurious hammams—at Marrakech’s famed hotel, whose complete renovation in 2009 has re-affirmed its world-class status.”
Since reading that blurb, I’ve been obsessed with Marrakech inspired designs. I call my new focus “Rock the Kasbah”. Hopefully, this won’t be perceived as “a hideously politically incorrect statement”. The saleslady at the Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft store laughed when I described the black and white Waverly print as such. I custom ordered two yards with the notion that I’d have curtains made up for The Fashion Examiner’s office.
You’ll be seeing the matching wallpaper in The Fashion E’s weekly “Cutting Edge” video [black and white background].
Fashion and Home Decor are soul sisters. I came to this conclusion after a few trips with my s.s. “D” , a talented interior designer. On a trip to Nantucket, we discovered that we liked all of the same things. Fashion, like Home Decor, is about having the courage to “be yourself” and to allow how you dress/decorate your home to reflect who you really ARE. I’m slowly building up my Tracy Reese Home collection of Marrakech inspired towels, named “Spice Market” and Oggi”. My go-to sites for her luscious towels are Overstock and Smart Bargains.
Clothing-wise, I’m on the hunt for mummus in these same paisly/oriental prints and patterns. Thus far, the only one I’ve purchased is the vintage cobalt floor length one from Another Man’s Treasure. Clearly, It’s time to go back to Jersey City and pay them another visit!
One high end designer who is making just such items that are much more accessible is Mara Hoffman. She has been a favorite of mine since I started attending her shows three or so years ago. This shows the power of Fashion PR companies. I went because Mara’s show was a Kelly Cutrone/Peoples’ Revolution production. I don’t love everything I see, but I DID love Mara Hoffman’s psychedelic designs. SO Seventies. So groovy.
In our FE video, Mara talks about what inspired her when she created her latest collection. I was impressed by Mara. She has been doing “rich hippie chic” all along, whether or not it happened to be trendy. She was just being herself.
The prints reminded me of the Parador Hotels [former Castles and Monastaries] I stayed at back then while vacationing with my parents in the South of Spain as a young teen. At one of the Paradores, I could glimpse the coast of Marrakech. We did not make it but I was hooked, and resolved to get there – some day.
I didn’t know it back then, but the most well-known example of “hippie chic” is Patrick Lichfield’s 1969 photo of Talitha Getty, shot on the rooftop of the couple’s 19th-century Le Palais du Zahir, also known as “the Pleasure Palace”.
This image has inspired countless fashion designers long after her death and maybe even the great fashion write-up by Erica M. Blumenthal, “Pajamas Make a Break for It”, which ran in the May 12th edition of The New York Times. The easy slouchy pants in by Rachel Comey and Suo are Marrakech ready.
This is a bold trend to embrace but think about the pay-off when you prepare to take a step on the wild side. Marrakech Chic will add color and texture into your wardrobe and or home. Ease into it- get a pillow and a mummu. Maybe, you’ll find yourself head over heels as stylist Rachel Zoe is about this fashion era and aesthetic.