Fashion in the Middle East (or in this case, the Maghreb) can be a difficult. Some of my favourite designers are of Middle Eastern origin, including Azzadine Aläia from Tunis or Hussein Chalayan from Turkey. The plain black burqa often hides a stunning Chanel or Prada outfit underneath while the hijab can be scarves of startling beauty.
In Marrakech, however, one of the most interesting blends of traditional Islamic dress and modern pop culture has been documented by the British-Moroccan photographer Hassan Hajja in a stunning exhibit at the Taymour Grahne Gallery, New York.
The style and panache of these women is something to behold. The camouflage burkha with a Louis Vutton slipper poking out or the heart shaped glasses with an almost Shinjubuku green Moroccan robe epitomizes a bravado and style that many first world countries fail to match. Hajja’s other work shows this but I also saw it at the London Art fair in the photographs by Leonce Raphael Agbodielou from Benin
By any measure, the fashion is more cutting edge, true to the wearer and more contemporary than much of what we currently wear.