Saturday, 19 March 2011

Moroccan timeless allure

Elle magazine, April 1953 Suzy Parker in a photo © by George Dambier
Stretching west from the Sahara desert to the 
Atlantic Ocean, the Kingdom of Morocco is an endearing 
country of sands, souks, medinas and mosques 
whose breathtaking scenery have always attracted 
travelers, tourists and creatives.

Elle magazine, April 1953 © photo by George Dambier
Vogue, December 1956, © photo by Norman Parkinson
Hundred of artists such as American expatriate writers
Jane and Paul Bowles, William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg
as well music stars Brian Jones and Jimi Hendrix, American
film director Orson Welles and French couturier Yves Saint
Laurent flocked to 'Maghreb al Aqsa' or “the farthest land
of setting sun” as the country is known in the Arab 
world with most of them taking up residence.

Camels and desert picnicking, 1958 photo © William Klein
Marrakech, 1964 © photo by Franz Christian Gundlach
Tangier, 1964 © photo by Franz Christian Gundlach for Triumph
So it's little wonder that Morocco has been the appealing
background for movies and fashion editorials, mainly the
magnificent former imperial city of Marrakech, known 
as the “Red City”, in the foothills of the yearlong 
snow-capped Atlas Mountains with its narrow roads 
and iconic landmarks like Djeema el Fna square, 
the Kutoubia minaret and the Menara gardens.

still from Marcus K Jones' 'Fantastic Voyage' cinema editorial for Elle (part.)
Elle, March 2008 fashionreporter © photos by Farrokh Chothia
Vogue Italia, March 2009, photo by Steven Meisel
Vogue Italia, 'Moroccan Holiday' © photo by Steven Meisel
Back in 1953 Elle magazine first commissioned
photographer George Dambier a fashion reportage
from Morocco with the acclaimed top model and
actress Suzy Parker better known as “the Chanel girl”,
the signature face of the Parisian brand who's curiously
the only fashion model to have a Beatles song named
after her (even if unreleased on record).

Vogue Paris, 2010 © photos by Inez van Lamsweerde-Vinoodh Matadin
Vogue Paris, 2010 © van Lamsweerde-Matadin, style Carine Roitfeld
'Notte Mediorentale', Italian A magazine, © photo by Marco Guerra
Several fashion magazines sent photographers,
stylists and perturbing beauties to Morocco to produce
far-off editorials with amazing, epigrammatic images
throughout the decades: hope you enjoy the 
'Moroccan roll' with these vintage and contemporary 
pictures collected during this gray and rainy 
saturday afternoon (quite the opposite of North 
African today's weather report, sigh).

Images from © Anthropologie's 2009 catalogue
Elle Russia's Sept. 2010, © photos by Erez Sabag, styled by Ekaterina Mukhina
Wishing all of you a sunny Moroccan Sunday!

Mons. Pierre Bergé under the YSL road sign in Marrakech


  1. i loooove looove looooooove!!!!

  2. Bellissimo post Betty!!!!!!

  3. Dearest Elisabetta,

    That architecture is one of my most favorites, used as a background for fashion and such! It makes it so exotic and it's nowhere else to be found. The one shot taken in Tangier is the winner for me...

    Lots of love and sorry about the rain. We live at the same latitude as Morocco or Tunesia... and we have beautiful weather.


  4. I've always been fascinated by North Africa but I never realised how Morocco was so important. I knew that it is a beautiful and very inspiring country. I'd love to visit it one day, I'm sure that all the pictures would be amazing.
    The Vogue Paris editorial is probably one of the best to get some inspiration. And the Vogue (December 1956) photo is truly beautiful, it makes me want to wear a vintage Chanel dress and walk around Morocco, with a camera in my hands.

    I didn't know about Suzy Park's song, that is so amazing to have a music dedicated for you by The Beatles!