As you might well know, my appetite for decoration is especially hearty in the jewels department. That is, the celebratory loading up of arms, ears, fingers and chest (and yes, toes and ankles too) with copious, large and tribal pieces of pure jewellery pleasure. These amulets and talismans of strength, luck and protection, collected at amazing markets and from traders around the world or found, heirloom, handed down, upcycled from studio debris or purchased from young designers doing great things make for inspired daily ritual and I like it, like it. Yes, I do. Thus I have been dreaming most nights of late about visiting the “Berber Women of Morocco” exhibition now showing in Paris – the city of bread to kill for, Clignacourt Market drool and more, much more..
But back to “Berber Women of Morocco”, if you live close or can happen to swing by Paris before 20th July? I would if I were you, this awesome exhibition comes straight from the heart of the most immense collectors, none other than Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé, who shared a love of Morocco and began collecting Berber art in the ‘60s. Their Moroccan love nest – Jardin Marjorelle in Marrakesh, an oasis of Yves Klein Blue, muchos grandiose cacti and cool pools where my lover and I once dipped our toes while our hearts swooned high on one hell of a hot day, is a testament to their dedication to Moroccan Islamic art and civilization, specifically Berber women.
It’s great to see these incredible women being honoured here, as you can see the astounding scope of Berber art, long dismissed as “rural” by Moroccan National museums needed an amazing and intimate space to shine brightly – the exhibition occupies Saint Laurent’s former haute couture house no less. Berber history spans thousands of years across much of North Africa. The exhibit focuses specifically on Berber women from the Rif mountains on Morocco’s north to the Sahara in the kingdom’s south and examines how their mastery of traditional arts such as weaving, jewellery – literally drooling over the heavenly amber and coral pieces, and basket making has helped sustain an ancient culture that is uniquely African and Mediterranean.
Berber women do not mess about when it comes to bundling up. Their appetite for decoration is almost incomparable, overtly optimistic, some would say overly generous (not I) and always inspirational. I have included some of my favourite portraits of Berber women below to show you more of their glory in full flesh. Follow by example here… celebrate yourself today and BUNDLE UP big-time. Xx