By Morgan Hekking – Morgan Hekking holds a BA in International Relations from Hobart & William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York.
Rabat – Moroccan kaftans dominated the runway at the 34th Oriental Fashion Show at the Carrousel du Louvre, Paris, on Monday, January 20.
With the theme “Wonders of the Silk Road,” the 34th show set out to “discover oriental splendors,” according to a press release.
The fashion show opened on the sidelines of Paris Fashion Week 2020.
“The kaftan remains the basis of the Oriental Fashion Show,” Hind Joudar, the French-Moroccan founder of the event, stated to Maghreb Arab Press (MAP).
“I am very proud as a Moroccan to represent Morocco and present this open, diverse, and plural project in Paris, the [world’s] fashion capital, and in this mythical place that is the Louvre.”
Moroccan designers Samira Haddouchi, Houda Serbouti, and Fatima Zohra Idrissi-Filali represented the kingdom in the international fashion show.
Haddouchi specializes in opulent kaftans, capes, jellabas, and Moroccan menswear. Based in Casablanca, the Moroccan designer opts for both bold and subdued accents in her creations.
Haddouchi, known around the world as an ambassador of the Moroccan kaftan, explored Andalusian and Mediterranean culture in her new collection with bold cuts, unusual colors, and flowing fabrics.
Serbouti strives for elegance and glamour, using meticulous embroidery and luxury materials to achieve the perfect balance between sensuality and tradition in her Moroccan couture.
Serbouti’s collection of kaftans at the Oriental Fashion Show exemplified the artist’s mastery of silk and muslin fabrics.
Houda Serbouti collection at the Oriental Fashion Show in Paris, 2018. Photo credit: David Tergemina
Filali embraces wearable but eye-catching designs in her jellabas and kaftans. Simple yet alluring, the Moroccan designer simultaneously appeals to both traditional and rule-breaking women. Throughout her career, she has worked to modernize the kaftan while maintaining its authentic identity.
Born in Fez, Filali is also deeply inspired by Amazigh and Sahrawi traditions and incorporates such cultural elements into her more luxurious pieces.
Filali debuted her spring and summer 2020 “Renaissance” collection of kaftans at the Oriental Fashion Show. The collection offers a blend of tradition, refinement, elegance, modernity, and originality.
“I chose Renaissance as a name for my new collection as I tried throughout my new kaftans to revive several kinds of embroidery and traditional beading techniques that our great-great-grandmothers used to make,” Filali explained in a press release. “It took me more than a year of research in order to conceive this new creation.”
The kaftans are adorned with Louis d’Or, a French gold coin that was in circulation in Morocco throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries. Filali collected the coins from Moroccan and French families that had passed the relics down from generation to generation.
Established in 2004, the Oriental Fashion Show is the first international fashion event in Paris dedicated to promoting Eastern fashion and couture. The event’s organizers consider fashion as an impetus for cultural exchange between East and West.