A Week in Morocco

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Rokit have officially gone Moroccan mad!! This vibrant North African country has influenced everybody from the Rolling Stones to Yves Saint Laurent and we want in on the action too!! Morocco has touched many parts of our western world including interior design, art, music and of course, fashion. The distinct mix of different cultures revered in Morocco; from the Arab world, Spain, Portugal and France has proven to be irresistible to fashion designers all over the world since the 60's, translating into modern takes on the clashing colours, intricate patterns and beautiful jewelled fabrics.

Many ethnic style fabrics and prints we see today have come from specific features of Moroccan life, from earthy desert hues to geometric patterns inspired by tiles known as zelij. Moroccan architecture can range from ornate and bold, to simple, clean lines in earth and jewel tones. This iconic style of architecture and design, especially in Marrakech, show some of the colours and patterns of the 70's bohemian style that many of us have tried to emulate this summer.

Marrakech in itself is worth a trip to Morocco. During the 1960's and 70's, it became a refuge for the hip London crowd; writers and musicians who wanted to find inspiration and bliss in the exotic country. Keen travellers arrived in Morocco in the boring, everyday and returned home in embroidered, floaty fabrics and a variety of silver bracelets stacked up their sun kissed arms.

One of Morocco's most famous residents during this time was fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent who for a number of years lived and worked in the city of Marrakech. Yves began his infamous career at the tender age of 21, when he replaced his mentor, Christian Dior, as chief designer of the couture house of Dior in Paris. At Dior he started to carve out his own modern style however he was still constricted to 'Dior approved' designs. It wasn't until Yves launched his own label with the help of his partner Pierre Bergé that he became free to create daring and different collections.

Yves and his partner Pierre Bergé first visited Marrakech in 1966, when the city was still a quiet oasis. Before moving to the inspiring city he was only using black and white within his designs, however Marrakech opened his eyes to the brilliant colours and shapes of the North African culture.

The incredible markets, called souks inspired YSL to create beautiful, diverse designs which transcended traditional Western styles and introduced the exoticism of Morocco to a global fashion audience. He was known for his modern slants on Maharajah tunics, traditional djellabas, floaty kaftans and whimsical turbans. Other designers copied his best ideas as fast as he produced them!

After Saint Laurent died, his ashes were brought to the city and buried in his private garden at his house; the Jardin Majorelle. A special memorial now stands in the public garden, visited annually by around 700,000 people.

One of the most famous images representing Morocco and this haute hippy era is of Talitha Getty in the 1960's who was photographed by Patrick Lichfield on the roof of their home in Marrakech. Is it any wonder we're all clambering to get our hands on this wearable, summer style?

Morocco's traditional dress has been widely copied over the past few decades and has now filtered down into our own bulging wardrobes. We all recognise the ever versatile kaftan whether it's in a slinky silk or in comfortable cotton; the style is perfect for shielding our bikini clad bodies from the sun. Check out the lovely ladies from First Aid Kit who are rocking this traveller, hippy look. We love that yellow kaftan!

If you prefer the originals then Rokit has it covered. Check out our Round the World section on our trend page for a wide selection of multi-cultural styles! Just click the link below! And if you, like us, have fallen in love with Morocco then keep tuned for our next instalment in the 31 days around the World Series.