Fashion Cities Africa Extract

‘Morocco is like a sponge. We absorb from Europe, Africa and the Arab world while retaining our own roots. It’s always been like that,’ says journalist Mouna Belgrini, who has been reporting on Casablanca’s fashion scene for a decade. ‘You can choose which culture you identify with and express that through the way you dress.’ Both geographically and spiritually, Morocco has been at the crossroads of trade routes and empires for centuries, giving its creative hub, Casablanca, a unique fashion landscape. Formerly a harbour town, the French Protectorate introduced urbanism to Casablanca in the early twentieth century, including European fashion trends that were adopted by the upper classes. The Nationalist Movement embraced Moroccan attire such as hayk (wrapper) and djellaba (hooded robe) as a sign of resistance. The moderate King Mohammed V led his country to independence in 1956 but was soon succeeded by his son Hassan II whose dictatorship demanded conservative dress. Nevertheless, the first generation of fashion designers emerged in the 1960s with a fresh take on Moroccan style. Casablanca was by now a cosmopolitan city and designers such as Zina Guessous, Zhor Sebti and Tamy Tazi understood that women here were living modern lives so could not wear heavy traditional robes that restricted their movements.

These designers therefore began to offer lighter takes on the caftan using haute couture fabrics. Tazi, who only retired in 2013, became renowned for her exquisite embroideries and textiles. She featured in US Vogue and also acquired the rights to represent Yves Saint Laurent in Morocco. Saint Laurent, who was born in Algeria and had a home in Marrakech, was famously drawn to Morocco during this period along with the A-list hippy set. The likes of The Rolling Stones, The Doors, Cat Stevens and Frank Zappa all visited the country while Moroccan silhouettes influenced global trends. This in turn helped to boost the popularity of Moroccan designers at home and abroad. By the 1980s and 1990s, a second wave of designers came to the fore. Karim Tassi, Zhor Raïs, Albert Oiknine, Simonohamed Lakhdar, Noureddine Amir, Fadila El Gadi and Salima Abdel Wahab all have their own personal takes on contemporary fashion ranging from overtly Moroccan to highly conceptual. Zineb Joundy studied at the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture in Paris and worked for Karl Lagerfeld and Lanvin before returning to Casablanca to launch her first collection of cocktail dresses in 1992. In 1996 she was approached by lifestyle magazine Femmes du Maroc to create a look for its debut cover and fashion show, called Caftan, which has become the country’s most significant fashion event. ‘I switched to caftans to cater to the demand. And also because of my wanderlust appreciation of embroideries and handcrafts from different cultures,’ explains Joundy who has since shown in New York, London and Paris and become famed for her luxurious one-piece caftan.‘Today my collections are produced between Morocco and India and combine these two colourful, spicy worlds to create my brand identity that all women can wear.’

Morocco has its own inimitable art of caftan. One garment will pass through many hands and specialised crafts originate from different parts of the country. Tarz (embroidery), aqad (buttons), sfifa (loop braiding) and renda (needle lace) plus beads and sparkles can be used to embellish the robe and various metallic and silk cords including mftal, tarssan, dfeera and qetan are applied to decorate and finish the garment. They are no longer everyday attire but regardless of your religion or status, everyone wears caftan to special occasions such as weddings and Eid celebrations. The likes of Zineb Joundy and Zhor Raïs lead the way in caftan chic, by far the most lucrative and sizable segment of the local fashion market.

Since the current King Mohammed VI’s ascension in 1999 there has been a growing artistic freedom, spurred on by improvements in women’s rights, education, technology and the economy, and is reflected through the work of the new breed of designers. Amina Agueznay works with artisans to make spectacular contemporary jewellery, Said Mahrouf excels at fluid draping and Yassine Morabite makes edgy graphic T-shirts. The creative scene has found its spiritual home at the Boulevard Festival, an annual alternative music event co-founded by Momo Geroni and Hicham Bahou. What started out as a 400-person party in 1999 has blossomed into a ten-day spectacular attracting 100,000. ‘Boulevard is a free space where both artists and the public can come and do what they can’t do the rest of the year because of society and religion,’ says Geroni. ‘It is about rediscovering our roots. Colonialism and a move to city living caused us to disconnect from our heritage. We had a problem with our identity. But now we are using it to create something new,’ adds Bahou.

Fashion Cities Africa is available to buy here:,id=5183/


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Interactions: Studies in Communication & Culture 7.1

Intellect is pleased to announce that ISCC 7.1 is now available. This general issue showcases articles on a range of topics from the representation of war in international TV series, to a localised critical discourse analysis of the Occupy Movement in Latvia and Sweden. Articles discussing cultural class on contemporary television viewings among the US young middle classes, audience discourses on immigration in Greek media, and the role of the 'political wife' in sex scandal press conferences are also presented. The issue closes with a methodological study of the interview as media research, through psychoanalytic concept of transference.  


To access the whole issue, follow this link

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Call for Papers: Critical Studies in Men's Fashion Special Issue
Fashion Now & Then: Men's Fashion as Art

Critical Studies in Men’s Fashion is currently accepting abstracts for a special focus issue on Men’s Fashion as Art.

This special issue will examine how fashion information and art in men’s fashion have evolved through time and how it will continue to evolve in the future.

Contributions are welcome from all disciplines including: fashion studies, anthropology, art, art history, design, business, consumer studies, cultural studies, economics, gender studies, humanities, literature, marketing, psychology, queer studies, religion, sociology, and textiles.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

• Use of fashion information in design

• Use of fashion information in marketing

• Influential designers in menswear

• Influential pop culture icons that influenced men’s fashion

• Transgender influence on men’s fashion

• Forecasting menswear

• Museum exhibitions based on menswear

• Menswear designer archives

• Menswear street style

• Textiles used in menswear

Tentative timeline:

• Abstracts of intended paper due to guest editors 1 August 2016

• Letters of acceptance sent out 15 August 2016

• Articles due 3 January 2017

• Articles reviewed and returned to authors for revisions 30 January 2017

• Revised articles due 6 March 2017

• Issue published Fall 2017

All manuscripts will undergo peer review. Articles will be selected on their content, scholarship, and technical quality. The content must be in line with the vision of the journal in advancing scholarship on men and appearance.

All submissions must follow Intellect’s house style for review. Attached and at: Manuscripts should be approximately 5,000-7,000 words and use British spelling. It is the author’s responsibility to clear image rights, text, and citation usage if they are included in the manuscript.

Please send submissions and queries to the guest editors Nicole LaMoreaux (, Lou Acierno (, and Elizabeth Marotta (

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Call for Papers: ADCHE 16.1 Special Issue 'Territories of Graphic Design Education'

 Art, Design & Communication in Higher Education, in collaboration with The Graphic Design Educators’ Network, invites contributions to ‘Territories of Graphic Design Education’, a special issue exploring the physical, intellectual and existential terrain of graphic design learning and teaching. There is an orchestrated chorus within design education for problems to be discovered, defined and solved based on evidence. How does graphic design educate its prospective practitioners to discover, define and solve problems?

Download the full Call for Papers here. 

Deadline: 24 October 2016
Please send submissions to Vicky Haverson, Editorial Assistant (
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