Fez is making its name as a place for contemporary design with an historical twist. This week features not one but three significant events. Friday May 24 is the opening of Michel Biehn's exhibition Veils and Turbans and on Saturday May 25 is Fez Fashion Day; a fashion show followed by the opening of the Fez Fabrik design exhibition.
|A selection of turbans from Michel Biehn's extensive collection|
He points out that while both veils and turbans are "nothing but a rectangle of fabric", they have a deeper symbolic significance.
"Veils are an issue in France," Michel says, referring to their being outlawed in 2010. "But I find it quite irrelevant. It's up to the individual - I don't see why the law should interfere. However, I am not making a political point, just showing a selection of costumes."
"As a whole, a veil protects the mystery of a woman. Whereas a turban is worn very differently. It symbolises potency...Everyone is now hooked on veils, and no one talks about turbans. If we want the world to work, we need both those energies."
|Designer and author Michel Biehn|
Fez Fashion Day - Saturday May 25 at 5.30 PM at Jardin des Biehn
|Fashion styled by Alfred Berlin|
Fez Fashion Day kicks off this Saturday with the showing of the work of two international designers - Alfred Berlin and Moi Anan. Sponsored by the French Institute, their clothing and accessories will grace the long, tiled runways of Jardin des Biehn.
This is followed by the opening of the Fez Fabrik exhibition. Fez Fabrik is a newly created association which aims to encourage liaisons between international designers and local artisans. Six designers will contribute pieces to the exhibition, ranging from textiles and unique accessories through to unusual jewellery.
Alfred Berlin's section of the fashion show will be "a funky mix of past and present," according to the designer. "Inspirations came from how, in the old Medina of Fez, people mix traditional Moroccan clothes, such as kaftans, jellabas and babouches with contemporary street-style looks like Nike and Adidas." Accessories will feature strongly. "I'm trying to establish my brand based on recycling left over leather from Italian factories. It is about using hand made products, done by the young artisan generation."
|Fashion styled by Alfred Berlin|
Alfred's design background includes studies of theatre and costume at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Roma where he won a scholarship to continue his studies in sculpture and textile design at the Royal College of Fine Art in Belgium, which led to him being accepted at the Royal Academy of Arts in Antwerp. He has collaborated with numerous internationally recognised designers, including Antonio Marras and Kenzo, Giafranco Ferre and Studio Pollini. Moi Anan's vibrant and beautifully tailored designs were a stand-out at last year's Fez Fashion Day. His carefully tailored styling spans Thai tradition and Western modernity and has been shown at Paris Fashion Week. This new collection consists of more of thirty pieces, offering a sophisticated approach where traditional fabrics are given a new and unusual treatment.
Fez Fabrik exhibition - Saturday May 25 at 7.30 PM at Jardin des Biehn
|Talisman jewellery by Michel Biehn|
Following the fashion show will be the opening of the Fez Fabrik exhibition, featuring the work of six international designers - Nina Galbert; Catherine Gailliard; Lilou, Michel Biehn, Moi Anan and Alfred Berlin. This is also the inaugural event for Fez Fabrik, a new non-profit association dedicated to increasing opportunities for international designers and local artisans to create work together.
|Striped hand-loomed throws by Nina Galbert|
What: Veils and Turbans
When: Friday May 24 at 7 PM until June 3
Where: French Institute, Dar Batha
What: Fez Fashion Day
When: Saturday May 25 at 5.30 PM
Where: Jardin des Biehn
What: Fez Fabrik exhibition
When: Saturday May 25 at 7 PM until June 16
Where: Gallery at Jardin des Biehn