Friday, 4 April 2014

the artsy house of Artsi

More than twenty years later, I can still recall the
unique atmosphere of Marrakech's Mellah - the
Jewish neighborhood in the southern part of the
medina -
and the relentless activities going on
around place des Ferblantiers and the nearby
alleyways: the Jewish quarter has always been
a place of exchanges and its vocation is aptly
epitomized in 'the house', the latest collection 
by 'Artsi'  or better ART/C.

ART/C is the nickname of Artsi Ifrach, the Israeli
designer raised in the Mellah who dedicated his
youth to ballet to retire at 22 becoming at first a
boutique director in Tel Aviv, then a self-taught
couturier launching the ART/C label in Paris to
create bespoke pieces in a distinct showy style with
French overtones. Artsi is constantly inspired by art
and has a strong penchant for photography, so it's
small wonder that he conceived for 'the house' a
stunning photo shoot together with Casablanca born,
Paris educated freelance photographer Laila Haida
(the creator with Hicham Bouzid of 'Riad 18',  
Marrakech's new 'cultural temple').

”'The house' is a glimpse into my private memory, the
happiness that I experienced as a child in a different
place. To preserve the memory and bring it alive.
For the art of the emotion that captures an image”

Artsi wrote introducing his s/s 2014 collection.
 ”I create my pieces with a total freedom, from a state of 
mind I have at the moment. The point is to be respectful
of the past, of the culture and bring something warmer.
In my pieces I want to create a memory that moves
emotionally. Vintage fabrics can match past and present
together, colors and prints are my landscape...”
he declares
adding that ”Napoleon said 'there is a line between the
ridiculous and the sublime', I'm searching this 
line every time in every piece”.

”I imagine a look to create an attitude, it belongs to every
woman to find out her own path of self confidence”
states and his words are skillfully translated into the
gorgeous images taken in the Mellah by Laila Haida:
vivid portraits of women/characters in a beautiful old
house that seems to be revived by their presence,
wearing a range of unisex, often checked outfits exploring
fabrics and materials, prints and color combinations on his
own while a white rectangular frame creating a stunning
picture-in-picture effect. Haida's storytelling images are
currently on display at the 'Les Insolites' bookshop/gallery
in Tangier, one more spot of the Moroccan 
artistic convergence.

> all images © by Laila Haida <

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