By Najoua Bijjir - Rotterdam, Netherlands
By Najoua Bijjir – Rotterdam, Netherlands
Passion for Caftan is a fashion event held twice a year in Belgium. On Sunday, March 30, the sixth edition of the event will take place in the city of Antwerp. Nasim Tesoudali, an organizer of the event, reveals secrets behind the successful event.
What can you tell us about Passion for Caftan?
“Passion for Caftan is a fashion event, which focuses on Moroccan and Arab haute couture. With this event we want to make a contribution to the fashion industry, where the caftan certainly has earned its place,” Tesoudali said.
What can the audience expect during the upcoming event?
“This year we have 24 designers from Europe, Morocco and Dubai. Every year we invite special guests of honour to participate in the event. And I’m proud to announce that this year our guests are actresses Samia Akkariou, Nora Skali, Leila Hadioui, and TV-host Samira el Beloui. Furthermore, we have a few surprise acts in store. This way Passion for Caftan is more than a runway show. It’s also an experience reminiscent of a fashion gala.
What is the secret behind the success?
The first edition of Passion for Caftan was held in 2009, and was officially opened by former Prime Minister Yves Leterme. Since then, the event has grown each year. Even though the caftan is a Moroccan gown, our visitors have different ethnical backgrounds, and are interested in wearing a caftan as well. The Moroccan caftan is similar to the Moroccan kitchen, it’s rich in ingredients and everything is possible. Therein lies the success of Passion for Caftan. We’re especially looking forward to cross borders with our concept.
The gown that never disappeared
What makes the caftan a special gown?
To answer this question, we asked the Moroccan couture designer and Passion For Caftan ambassador, Amine M’rani, about his experience with the upcoming event. “Passion for Caftan is the number one caftan event in Europe. We’ve never imagined it could be such a success. We are the place for brides-to-be looking for a Moroccan wedding gown. We always add a new twist to the caftan, and make the gown look very stylish in each collection we present.”
“The caftan is actually a very rare gown among others, and through the ages it never disappeared. In fact, the caftan keeps developing and modernizing. It’s the only gown that is suitable for different styles and different purposes, such as a modern soiree or a very traditional one. The caftan is very suitable to wear in every country, that’s because the gown blends easily in different cultures. This is what inspires me most about the caftan,” M’rani said.
How did you begin designing caftans?
“I was born into a family that always was into fashion and designing. From my father’s side as well as my mother’s. I’ve always been surrounded by the most beautiful fabrics and craftsmanship of a high quality. When it comes to designing a caftan I always keep this in mind.”
What can we expect from your collection during the upcoming event?
“We are the first doorsteps to weddings. Therefore our upcoming collection focuses especially on bridal collection. We added many new twists to the Caftan, as a wedding gown, in our new collection.”
Arab fashion meets the west
During Passion for Caftan we will not only admire the works of Moroccan fashion designers, but also that of the Dutch fashion designer Irving Vorster, head designer at the label IRVINX. We asked Irving Vorster to tell us about his contribution to the fashion event. “For the upcoming show I was asked to design a special caftan gown. Previously, I designed a dress for Kristiane Backer, author of the book From MTV to Mecca, and enjoyed working on this dress. Now, I’m looking forward to designing a unique caftan, featured with my design mark. These are my distinctive asymmetric lines in every gown.”
What do you think about a fashion event dedicated to the Caftan?
“Passion for Caftan is a beautiful concept where the Arab fashion meets the West.
As a designer I am very excited to discover the Moroccan culture, and I am even considering designing an exclusive collection of caftans within my regular collection.”
What do you think about Moroccan and Arab fashion in general?
“What strikes me most about many Muslim women in the West, is that they always look very groomed and beautiful. In my opinion, a woman doesn’t necessarily have to be naked to look her best. When a woman looks grooming, she looks very feminine. This is clearly reflected in the Islamic culture.”
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