Stella Jean is an emerging Italian fashion designer, whose cultural identity often provides inspiration for her eponymous label. She collaborates with African artisans, based on the principle of increase in value, economic impact and respect for the territory, resources and traditions of the local communities who must be supported, while at the same time preserving ancestral knowledge – at risk of extinction – and opposing the debasing effect of imperialist homogenization
Her testament is how fashion, beyond aesthetics, can evolve into an instrument of counter-colonisation and become a vehicle for, and expression of, economic, social and ethical growth and enfranchisement.
The principles of an intentional, but never ostentatious, elegance are developed and expressed through sharp Italian artisanal tailoring. A mood whose uniqueness is revealed as a reflection of the designer’s personal multiculturalism, translated into the “Wax & Stripes Philosophy”, her veritable signature style.
(1886-1962) Were a French orientalist painter and son of the famous Art Nouveau furniture designer, Louis Majorelle. He arrived in Morocco in 1917, invited by the French Resident-General, Marshal Lyautey. Majorelle was seduced by Marrakesch. In 1923, he decided to live there, purchasing a vast palm grove that would become the Majorelle Garden we know today.
In 1980, Pierre Berge and Yves Saint Laurent acquired the Jardin Majorlele, saving it from real estate developers. Since the, the garden has been restored, and many new plants have been added
The term kilim comes from Turkish and Eastern Persian. It means “covering”. Kilims are flat tapestry carpets woven by passing the weave through the warp; this is one of its uniqueness that determines its design. Geometric patterns are the most common: Diagonal lines mainly forming reversed diamonds and triangles that are spread across the design, by creating a border or following a pattern, some of them with symmetrical patterns covering the entire bottom of the carpet. As well as decorations, colours give an ideal touch to kilims: Maroon, blue, dark brown.
Rugs manufactured by women from the Berber tribes of the Upper Atlas region of Morocco, made from recycled textiles with wonderful colouring in which the female universe is embodied violently and smugly. These highly original rugs are aesthetically very powerful and whose shapes and colours are striking and daring.
The craftswomen do not follow any predefined guidelines or patterns when manufacturing these rugs, rather they improvise freehand without placing any limits on the creative spirit to achieve their goal.
Recycled materials used create a bond between primitive and modern art forms. A genuine canvas of modern abstract art, like a Kandinsky painting displayed without contrivances on the floor.
Until rather recently, these rugs were not traded due to the apparent scarcity of their materials, however, they have begun to appear in western markets as a result of their authenticity and aesthetic worth.
The exotic dramatic quality of Arabic decoration is extraordinary. A means of escape from the industrialised western decoration so overly confused as to what it aims to aspire to in terms of luxury and the limitation of its resources to serialised, repetitive and angular constructions offering furnishings with laboratory materials resulting in simply pale imitations of the past.
Nature, colour, constructive sets, exquisite materials, engaging ambiences, etc. all of these attract us the decoration projected through magazines as samples of a new luxury concept.
However, is Arabic decoration truly Arabic? Contemporary Arabic culture does not offer, except on rare occasions, any of these aesthetic principles. Even its aspiration is to foolishly mock western standards adding a further over-top-touch, ostentatiousness and bad taste.
In truth that sample of an aesthetic universe based on traditional Arabic culture has been recreated by western foreigners (refined and well-to-do foreign with new horizons free from the inherent atavisms of the west).
Even the recovery of traditional trade, handicrafts and pieces form part of this trend. There is still room for many unanswered questions on philosophical, political, anthropological and religious grounds, although there is plenty of time for them to be asked. The idea has been thrust forward; Arabic decoration is in fact European decoration.
It is worthwhile underlining that this is no way conditions the enjoyment and delight we take from a truly fascinating decorative model that is destined to make us reconsider interior design in the west.
The non-Arab cultures are inspired by nature; however Arabs in general are based on Turkish carpets due to theological ethics.
The carpet is the main furniture object for Arab cultures. They are highly important and some cities have even given their names to certain types of fabric such as muslin (Mosul), fustat (Cairo or Fustat).
You will see this blue glass pieces everywhere in turkey.
Is a glass bead that protects the holder from evil eye. It is pretty common in turkey. Have a look around and you might discover countless Nazar Boncugu dangling from cars, from rear-view windows, backpacks, on necklaces and bracelets, pinned to the sweeter of babies and small children, and hanging above doors in restaurants, hotels, stores, and apartments.
Suzani is a good example of the Silk Road over centuries. The oldest suzani record was provided by the Castilian ambassador in Tamerlane (15th Century). It is a type of embroidered and decorative tribal textile made in Central Asian countries (Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan…). The households in those regions have suzani pieces across rooms and turn them baroque.
There are several types of Suzani (Bukhara, Lakai, Samarkand…). They are normally made by stripes which are sewn forming a single Suzani piece of art. These stripes are shared among women of every family who are the ones in charge of knitting. This is part of bride’s dowry.
Suzanis usually have a cotton fabric base when embroidered in silk thread and a silken fabric base when embroidered in cotton thread. The most common motifs are part of Zoroastrianism iconography and include sun and moon disks, pomegranates and tulips.
Environments of today are inspired by the immense plains of the Savannah with its unique colours and patterns. The African look is full of emotion and power like nature in its pure state and therefore is strongly linked to nature. This look focuses on ethnical and primitive aspects, as well as on things mankind can create with their bare hands. Decoration items are warm, attractive, mysterious, cosy, relaxing… these details undoubtedly turn a house into a home.