Amsterdam fashion designer Karim Adduchi has paid tribute to his Berber heritage by adapting traditional carpets into frayed and patterned garments. Adduchi sourced materials from his home country of Morocco to create his collection, which is titled She Knows Why the Caged Bird Sings.
The designer is of Berber descent – the group is indigenous to North Africa and is known internationally for its textile craftsmanship.
“My intention with this collection was to pay homage to my culture 100 per cent,” said the designer. “Part of that was to bring the materials originally made by the tribes where I come from.”
Carpets, wool and leather – all associated with Moroccan craft – have been incorporated into the garments. Traditional Berber carpets date back to prehistoric times and were made by knotting natural fibres, while some contemporary industrial versions are woven from wool, nylon and plastic.
With his collection, Adduchi aimed to tell the story of Berber women like his mother and grandmother, who are often reclusive.
Translated into clothing, the frayed edges of a black and red cape rise up around the head and partially cover the face. In a more extreme example, a cream and black striped jacket envelops the uppers arms, shoulders and head, with the wearer’s identity obscured by the threads that meet down the middle of the front.
“The collection was a process of translating the symbolism and perception of these women, to give them a voice,” he said. “It takes time and knowledge to unravel these women’s looks.”