Today’s outfit consists of another vintage item available for sale on my online shop; and it’s a piece I truly cherish. I got this little number from an acquaintance as a present from her travels to Morocco and although I love every bit of it, I find it a little intimidating to wear sometimes because it’s so bold and bright. These days, since I am approaching the end of my pregnancy, I feel a little bit more daring and perhaps the raging hormones help me not have any care in the world. So, today, this is exactly what I did…plunge in the world of ethnic, bold, beautiful fashion and I was happy with the outcome. I normally can wear this beautiful linen caftan as a full dress, but since having a belly makes things shorts, I wore it more as a tunic and ended up just wearing pants underneath.
Although I got these jeans from the maternity shop, I feel so constricted in them and so opting for dresses nowadays seems pretty much easier for me. However, I feel like the jeans and the Moroccan caftan came well together and made the look more approachable and cool.
WHAT I WORE
CAFTAN: Etsy-@ledressingdemoon ◊ JEANS: Thyme Maternity ◊ SUNNIES: From a local Jericho shop ◊ SHOES: Aldo ◊ BAG: Zara
Since the caftan was bold and bright…I decided to balance the rest of the outfit accordingly and so adding a plain baby pink veil and colourful floral shoes was the perfect finishing touches to this whole look.
Here’s another self promoting post…so shameless! I have had these done a little over 3 years ago when I launched my first collection inspired by Morocco. I went there in early 2013 at the young age of 25. I had a huge ‘mid-life’ crisis and needed to cope. I need to find myself and find my purpose. Morocco was exactly what I needed and when I came back home, I needed to create and make a collection in honor of/thank the country that helped shape me.
With that collection, I was able to reinvent myself and reinvent the way I see fashion. I sold most of that collection but still kept 4 or 5 pieces as a little souvenir…just because it was my first and I feel like such a proud mama. One of the few pieces I kept is this lovely handmade belt with satin threads and Swarovski crystals. I obviously had the help of wonderful craftsmen to make this baby but embellished it later on to my own liking.
Since corsets are now a thing…and this belt is a corset-ish looking thing…I figured I’d take it out from the dark depths of my closet and bring it into the light. This is how I decided to wear it….
I decided to go for a feminine/masculine look….kinda warrior-ish; a little bit of Xena and a little bit of Quintana from Mortal Combat. I wanted to feel and look pretty but not make the effort to wear heels. So I turned this look into a more dressy/casual one. I wanted to keep things simple and clean to make the belt shine.
What I wore:
DRESS: Turkish design dress purchased from Palestine ♣ BELT: Handmade ♣ BOOTIES: Aldo shoes ♣ SUNGLASSES: Kate Spade
These belts are meant to be worn with caftans in Morocco but I feel like they’re appropriate and badass enough to wear and combine them with modern clothes. I will attempt another look with this belt later on this week…it’s kinda exciting and a little challenging!
We all have those moments, that moment where you just want to give up on everything, that moment where you feel lost and confused, that moment where you think your life is meaningless….A bit dramatic..I know but anyway I felt that way when I turned 24. Fresh out of fashion school with an assistant design job, I felt as though, I was useless… I though, gosh, is this what life means…Existential question? Maybe, but for me it felt as though my life was over! That’s when I kicked my dramatic self in the behind and decided to go to Morocco and take up sewing. I did 3 months in fashion school to better my swing abilities and learn about different cultural fashion scenes. For 3 months straight, I studied the beautiful art of Caftan making. In between school and my internships, I was lucky enough to travel a little around Morocco and explore its culture, eat awesome food and meet amazing people.
For the most part of my trip, I stayed in Rabat; Rabat is the capital and administrative region of Morocco. Although it wasn’t my favorite city, there are a few things to do there; there are loads of cafes by the sea, summer festivals and performances by the old souks.
What I enjoyed most was Mawazine. This is an event that usually takes place in the May (annually) and it’s a world music festival featuring Arab, African and international music. I was lucky to attend this event for free and got to see LMFAO and The Scorpions. It was crowded, loud, sweaty and just nostalgic..everyone was dancing passionately. I’m usually not too good with crowds, but I managed to have a blast!
The second city I got to visit was Kenitra. I met with some friends for a day and although I didn’t have much time there, I found it to be really beautiful. Nature <3 <3 Mehdia Beach just stole my heart. There were plenty of little restaurants and cafes by the beach. People could go surfing, camel riding and could even rent quads. Even laying in the sun and listening to the waves is enough for you to feel the true Moroccan air.
I then had the chance to spend a few days in Casablanca. This is the largest and most important cities in Africa, both economically and demographically. Plus, there is so much to do there. Unfortunately, I didn’t have much time but with the few days I had, I was able to see the beautiful Ain Diab beach, Morocco Mall (which has the biggest aquarium ever!! And you can even go for a dive with baby sharks!), Anfa place (good restaurants and great shopping area), and last but not least the Old Medina. The old medina is the place I loved the most because you get to experience the real genuine feel of cultural heritage. The old souks are great for picking up a few souvenirs.
The last city I had the chance to visit was Marrakech and let me tell you that by far this is the nicest city I have been to. I had great adventures with amazing friends. I was able to experience a lot of things I never thought I would. The most memorable experience I had in Marrakech was visiting Le Château d’Hakim; a beautiful private estate where you can rest and enjoy loads of spectacles and great food. The food was to die for and the shows too. There were horsemen, camels, belly dancers, folklore music and dances. It was so memorable; I still talk about it to this day! Other places I was lucky to see in Marrakesh were El Baladi Palace (very impressive ruins of the palace with impressive walls and architecture detailing) and the Koutoubia Mosque and Minaret (a place where we can see an ancient mosque with beautiful architecture on the minaret and exterior walls. The gardens are exquisite, peaceful and worthy of a stroll around. The architectural aspects of the mosque ruins super interesting.
The trip changed me dramatically in every sense. I became more socially conscious and aware, I became emotionally stronger and spiritually happier. The people I met changed my life and made me realize how we must always cherish life with those we care about. This trip gave me the necessary push to follow my dreams and get out of my comfort zone. I am free to try new things and experience everything I can.
Not to make this post suuuupperr long, but here’s a condensed version of the facts and steps on how I decided to become a fashion designer. Back in 2008, I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Modern Languages & Linguistics. I was excited to be part of the adult world, as I knew exactly what I wanted to do…and that meant translation (at the time). A year into the work field, I was like that’s it, this is not me! this is impossible! I’m unhappy….and then flash forward to when I figured fashion design is the way to go.
Getting into fashion was the best decision I ever made at 21. I knew then and there that life is all set for me. It took me 13 months of intensive work, blood (literally), tears, amazing friendships and experiences to get me the diploma. With great distinction, I became the designer I knew I could be. I was young, hungry and extremely ambitious to get into the industry. I was eager to leave my mark despite the fact that everyone thought I was mad for getting into this field while wearing my veil. Don’t get me wrong, I never thought my veil would ever stop me from being awesome or kick ass and I never saw it or used it as a handicap. I always knew that I wanted to be a girl boss and let me tell you (very humbly) that I did that and so much more. I managed to launch 3 lines on my own and get contracts and even start my own online shop…
So today, I am sharing with all of you my experience as a fashion designer. I launched my first line in 2013 as a tribute to my voyage to Morocco, the land of Saharan beauty <3
It was crazy, surreal, exciting, humbling, scary, chaotic, and the list goes on. I will never forget the adrenaline I felt backstage, watching the girls parade my dresses with poise and finesse (Gosh they were all super sweet and adorable!!!). I felt like a proud mama, letting her babies go off into the world on their own.
I never in my mind have imagined to be there, backstage at Ottawa Fashion Week. It was so surreal that the next day I got sick; literally and psychically sick. I was beyond words. Everyone who ever shut me down and told me to not even think about designing was wrong and I made it. It was a moment of glory and pride for me and for my family. I want to thank everyone who didn’t believe in me, because if it wasn’t for them, I would never have had the guts, the power, nor the energy to push and achieve.
So here are some of my pieces:
David Kirouac Photography
David Kirouac Photography
David Kirouac Photography
To design is a beautiful art, but it’s a tough art. It’s very demanding in a fulfilling way. Long hours go into making garments. From the pattern, to the fitting, to the adjusting, to the sewing and to the very last detail put on the last minute backstage..everything counts and everything makes a difference. There is no room for error and no time to waste. Let me tell you that I didn’t truly believe in myself until the next day, when I saw the reviews. They were positive, constructive and just very touching. I cried, and cried hard. Knowing that I actually made a dream come into a reality gave me the necessary push to keep fighting.
From that moment on, I vowed to believe in myself and do everything I wanted to do. Anything that scares me, I do it! Anything anyone tells me I can’t do, I do it! Ain’t no time to waste!!! Life is too short to sit and wallow. We must always have the courage to fight for what we believe in and follow our dreams. I was very hard on myself growing up, always told myself I wasn’t good enough, always pushed myself to the limit. But now, I have come to an age where I can say, good job Iman! I achieved a lot and I am proud of every effort, every step and every mistake I took to get to where I am today. I am fierce, I am powerful, I am limitless and I am woman. I guess what I am trying to tell everyone out there with a dream is; go for it!! Do not let anyone put you down. And the negativity, use it, take it in, turn it into fuel to keep pushing yourself to another limit and to another level. Never be afraid to make mistakes, as they are part of the beautiful process and journey to achieve personal greatness and to reach your goals.
Keep shining peeps and be who you are meant to be, fully and apologetically.