Rabat – Fashionistas from Morocco to the United Kingdom and beyond gathered September 16 and 17 at London’s West End to revel in the kingdom’s sartorial and gastronomical cultures.
“Stories from Morocco,” a two-day feast of Moroccan food and fashion, attracted over 700 visitors to the De Vere Connaught Rooms during London Fashion Week.
The brainchild of British-Moroccan chef Khalid Dahbi and Jalila Elmastouki, the festival aimed to showcase the kingdom’s “exotic colors, silken fabrics, and flavors,” according to a statement released by Dahbi.
The event centered around a “catwalk extravaganza” of the works of eight designers, who “re-imagined and recreated” the traditional Moroccan caftan. “The stunning designs brought an opulent touch with the exquisite embroidery and the evident artistic flair of all,” explained the press release.
The show’s caftans were designed by Leila Hadioui, Meriem Belkhayat, Bouchra Filali, Houda Haloui, Nadia Boutaleb, Meryem Boussikouk, and Romeo and styled by Calvin Opaleye, with makeup done by the Academy of Freelance Makeup London.
Meanwhile, 120 “special guests” were treated to a four-course meal by the chef, which included a smoked zaalouk salad with goat’s cheese, Atlantic hake, and a “sixteen-hour caramelized shoulder of Welsh Valley lamb.”
On Saturday night, audience members moved to the De Vere’s rooftop for a “Marrakech after-party,” DJed by the producer Soraya.
Dahbi has worked for over 20 years in a number of Michelin-starred restaurants. In April 2017, he launched the Babouch Moroccan food restaurant to give his take on the Morocco’s cuisine “using the best of British seasonal ingredients.”
The chef said that the festival was another step in his quest to bring the kingdom’s cultural heritage to an international audience.
“It was a great pleasure to have co-founded the SFM project and to host our many guests who came from near and far. The gastronomic journey for me is continuing with new, exciting and creative ideas ahead,” said the chef.
“Let’s bring a touch of elegance to the new world.”