By ANNAMARIE HOULIS Renowned French designer Yves Saint Laurent put Morocco on the fashion map in the 1980s when his famous garden in Marrakech, the Jardin Majorelle, inspired his collections. American designer Michael Kors incorporated Morocco’s bold colors and busy textile patterns in his S/S “Afriluxe” show during New York Fashion Week last year. And American Peter Som’s Resort collection reflected nomadic desserts and exotic Moroccan motifs including a wandering-vine pattern. Morocco is an inspiration for fashion designers around the world, but Moroccan designers have been largely ignored, working in relative obscurity even within their own country.
By NATHAN EVANS
Victoria Anidjar de Abergel, 67, stands next to her intricately displayed dinner table of dates, fruits, nuts and wine glasses, speaking face-to-face with a woman who holds a well-worn Sony digital voice recorder between them. De Abergel explains that the display is for a uniquely Moroccan Jewish tradition called Mimouna, which marks the end of Passover with families throwing open their doors to friends and relatives well into the night, receiving them to eat, drink, pray and sing. Decades ago, she says, her Muslim neighbors would help gather food and even stop by her house during Mimouna celebrations.