Hassan Hajjaj straddles the divide not just between countries and cultures, but art and artisans. And it’s this unique mix of perspectives and disciplines that has made him arguably Morocco’s hottest current art export.
Hajjaj’s portrait photography, shown in galleries including London’s Somerset House and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, is created and framed using the products and skills of Marrakech’s artisans.
And while his real love are the everyday ‘heroes’ of the city – from friends and neighbours to gnaoua musicians and the henna artists of Djemaa el Fna – he’s also developed a celebrity following that’s seen Madonna, Cardi B and Will Smith sit for him over the past couple of years.
Hajjaj was born and grew up in the northern city of Larache before leaving Morocco for England aged 14 and quitting school a year later with no qualifications. He entered the London party scene and became a promoter turned streetwear designer, an aspect of his early career that still comes through in the exuberant colours, bold patterns and touchable textures of his work.
In 1989, he began taking photographs and at first his work was purely private. But in 1995, he returned to Marrakech for the first time in years and it was the start of his unique creative partnership with the city.
“I got back to London thinking I´d probably never go there again but something about the place kept calling me back, ‘he says. “The next thing I knew I was coming two or three times a year, but always I felt it was only because the city was inviting me. I didn’t want to be someone that came just to take, I wanted to be a part of the city, its life and its people – I wanted in some way to protect them.”
Jujus are a fetish piece of art for most interior designers around the globe and one of the best kept secrets and they are used as a visual attraction. Due to this fact, jujus have achieved great popularity.
Designs with juju hats provide texture to walls with an exceptional touch of glamour due to the natural feathers of birds.
Depending on the season, you can combine jujus in different areas of your house. If you wish to use them for a wall composition, you can use vivid and bright colours in summer. In winder choose neutral tones and jujus with natural feathers at any time.
You can also try with a sequence of progressive colours and include bicolour or multicoloured jujus.
The main colour of juju has to match with the colour of some decorative element found in the area. On the walls painted with dark colours you can use light and white jujus.
You can decorate the living room, entrance hall, dining rooms, bedrooms, kitchen or bathroom. They can also be placed outdoors (if you avoid exposure to high temperatures).
Provence style will fill the house with warmth and coziness, make it comfortable and welcoming. Simplicity, restraint, kindness, and light characterize this famous interior style directly related to the natural beauty of the French region
The main palette of this style reflects the natural colours of Provence: beige and milky, white and lavender, warm terracotta and sienna, bright colours of sunflowers, azure sea, refreshing wet sand and ecru. they fill up the house with serenity and tranquility.
Comfortable and simple Provence style furniture has a clear geometric lines and hand made from solid walnut, chestnut or oak, painted in the main style’s colours. The furniture fronts are especially charming decorated with artificial chips and scrapes, shallow holes as if eaten with bugs. Provence style reflects the natural beauty of southern France with its flowers, birds and butterflies.
TABLEWARE AND KITCHEN UTENSILS
Tableware and kitchen utensils are very important in a Provence house being a guardian of family traditions, a family legacy, and beautifying the interior decoration. Decorated with artistic representation of bouquets, countryside pictures and floral watercolors table sets and individual items will look great and tablecloths of unbleached linen and cotton with floral motifs or traditional stripes. it should be noted that the French prefer mixing and combining of items, and there can be plates from different set on table, and antiques porcelain will easily appear next to some rustic handmade pottery.
The décor of Provence style house is delicate and elegant, with a touch of time and history; or rather patina and artisan crackle technique. Therefore, forged decorative objects, small tables with tracery deco, birdcages, all sorts of ‘lacy’ elements perfectly complement the style. Moreover, the house should be filled with flowers. In fabrics and furniture’s deco, fresh bouquets, and even in breakfast desserts.
Boho style has its roots in the French Word ‘boheme’ and the artistic bohemian concept.
Boho interior style is rich, versatile, colorful and relaxed, as the life of the nomads discovering new lands.
The colour palette of this style is bright and intense: orange, yellow, purple, ultramarine and fuchsia make the house cheerful and cozy.
A boho-house is magnificently decorated with textiles, draperies, blankets, pillows, bright covers for furniture, carpets, exactly as the nomadic people do.
The Berber Museum is located in the former painting studio of Jaques Majorelle, and presents a panorama of the extraordinary creativity of the oldest people in North Africa. A collection of over 600 objects (jewellery, arms, leatherwork, basketry, textiles, and carpets) was sourced throughout Morocco –from the Rif Mountains to the Sahara Desert- and attests to the richness and diversity of an ongoing, vibrant culture.
The museum was designed around its collection: sound, music photography and film transport the visitor, opening a door onto the Berber culture of Morocco
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.
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.
The Westwing sales club, devoted to furnishings and decorative complements for the home, offers exclusive sales of products manufactured by renowned Spanish and international brands with important discounts that can reach up to 70%.
Silvia Arenas is the Creative Director of the company in Spain and responsible for the marvellous selection of rugs, decorative accessories, furniture, complements etc. that they make available on a daily basis to style lovers.
If there is one proven recommendation we can make from the The African Blog it is the platform for on-line decoration sales Westwing Home and Living.
It was launched four years ago by Delia Fischer, former director of the magazine Elle Decor in Germany, and since then has not stopped growing thanks to its select offer.
Sales are made through campaigns that last only a few days, and each one of these has been meticulously selected by a team of experts in decoration, thus ensuring the quality of the product, its aesthetic, originality and functionality.
Furthermore, it offers an on-line magazine that compiles all of the latest trends in decoration, as well as having interviews with experts in interior design, advice, tips and reports.
It is no surprise to discover it is present in 15 countries (3 years in Spain)
The common denominator of Westwing is the quality of the top-of-the-range brand names amongst which we can find renowned names such as Calvin Klein, Laura Ashley, Becara, Sia, Smeg, Designer’s Guild, Gancedo, Rosenthal, Valentí, etc. and a select list to which The African Touch has also been added.
The Safari Jacket, also known as “Bush Jacket” or “Sahara Jacket”, has a military origin. This jacket was incorporated to the uniform of the Italian army in Libya as the summer version of the original warrior jacket; it was also used during the cruel colonization in Ethiopia. After that, the English army included this jacket as part of their summer uniform during First World War.
Anglo African hunters also incorporated this jacket in safari hunting.
Since the 30s, the safari jacket has been fashionable and continuously reinterpreted by relevant designers and fashion firms as an elegant but trendy garment and ideal as casual clothing.
The original jacket is made of cotton and characterized by its pattern similar to a shirt, four big lid pockets, a belt and epaulette in the shoulders. And of course, sandy or khaki colour.
This colour is classic in famous films performed in Africa, like Mogambo with Clark Gable or Out of Africa with Robert Redford.