In collections past, Moroccan designer Sara Chraïbi had looked to the heavens for inspiration. This season, her third as a guest on the Paris calendar, her inspiration was more terrestrial. Moved by the earthquake that devastated parts of her homeland last September, her emotionally charged motifs referenced the torn earth in tones of brown, ochre, russet and deep purple with lavish gold, bronze and copper embellishments. “I wanted the collection to be strongly rooted in the earth, in tribute to all the people impacted by the earthquake and their resilience,” she said backstage before the show.
Organic patterns — a change from the geometric forms and celestial motifs the former architect has largely used in the recent past — enveloped the body on structural bodices covered in repeated waves of metallic embroidery, paired with liquid skirts of chiffon.
A series of designs in luxuriant greens and blues referenced a source that burst through the devastation following the earthquake. Kaftans and cloaks were offered in semi-transparent layers, adorned with gold embroideries and sparkling fringe details, or in dark velvet. On one gown, multiple bands of chiffon in varying hues were twisted and gathered at the waist with velvet bonds to look like columns, subtly revealing the skin beneath.
Using print for the first time, she created a monumental coat with a perspective motif of the brick arcades and columns of the Tinmel Mosque in the Atlas Mountains, destroyed in the earthquake, in the opening look. Later, the image was reprised on a long shift dress, its lower half blurring into textured embroideries and a fringed skirt.
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