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Feature: Highlights from Fashion Week Tunis 2012


Direct from the runways of (l-r): Salah Barka, Amine B and Ahmed Talfit

Direct from the runways of (l-r): Salah Barka, Amine Bendriouich and Ahmed Talfit



Curating Fashion Week Tunis: zoom on Salah Barka, Amine Bendriouich and Ahmed Talfit.


By: Amel Gaaloul

Tunis, Tunisia



L-R: Ahmed Talfit, Lancome's new face, Hanaa Ben Abdesslem &  designer Ali Karoui

L-R: Designer Ahmed Talfit, Lancôme's new face, model, Hanaa Ben Abdesslem & designer Ali Karoui


Guess where the Fashion Week has been lately? To church.


For the second consecutive year, Tunis’ historic  Acropolium de Carthage has been the theatre of a week’s worth of fashion extravaganza and talent. Attracting style aficionados of all ages, sexes and fashion orientations as well as local and international press, the 4th edition of the Fashion Week Tunis 2012 (FWT) is still the talk of the town in now-oh-so-famous Tunisia.


L-R: Model Faten Ben Mabrouk, designer Salah Barka and me!

L-R: Model Faten Ben Mabrouk, designer Salah Barka and me!



As well as showcasing the works of students from local schools, accessories and prêt-à-porter and haute couture designers, this year’s shows included Salah Barka (Tunisia), Laurence André (France), Safi Rebah (Tunisia), Leila Dali Bouricha (Tunisia), As de Trèfle (Tunisia), Ali Karoui (Tunisia), Rayhana (Tunisia), Arrey Kono (Camero0n – Germany), Seyf Dean Laouiti (Tunisia), Amine Bendriouich (Morocco), Ahmed Talfit (Tunisia), Laure Kczekotowska (France), Chouchic Design (Syria), and Soucha Mlihigue (Tunisia).



The girls from the Ahmed Talfit runway show

Glitter and shine at Ahmed Talfit



I wasn’t lucky enough to be able to attend all the shows, but let me introduce you to at least 3 of my all time favourites: Salah Barka, whose brand Oshy we already told you about here, Amine Bendriouich, who I met a few years ago in Morocco, and Ahmed Talfit, Lancôme face Hanaa Ben Abdesslem‘s protégé.



Salah Barka's collection

It's urban chic at Salah Barka



It’s funny; when I think about it, these three actually constitute a bunch apart from the other designers present at the 2012 FWT. Their pieces distinctly stood out from the nonetheless interesting crowd of designers showcased, and seemed to be echoing one another.



Amine Bendriouich collection

Easy breezy at Amine Bendriouich


Indeed, if I were to pin-point a distinct theme after seeing the works of Salah, Amine and Ahmed, it would have to be identity and gender equality. Hmmm. Sounds like the beginning of the title of an essay an arts student might envisage to write about 19th century visual arts. Still, even though explored in very different creative ways by our three young artists, gender considerations and that of nudity and religion definitely stole the show at the FWT.


Amine Bendriouich collection

Amine Bendriouich


While Amine Bendriouich imagines clothes fitted for both men and women, both he and Salah Barka pick up on the traditional Maghrebian “saroual” and spank it up with a city (rather than urban) sleek edge.




Model showcasing Salah Barka's Spartan twist

Model showcasing Salah Barka's spartan twist


Salah’s spartan twist (naked male chests dressed with copper bulk jewellery makes it all the more interesting. As for Amine, his refreshingly enthusiastic proposition of comfortable city-style (cotton shorts and jackets, pastel colours, cheeky cuffs, airy dresses) is here positively challenged by a redefinition of gender-forced sartorial habits and dictates (who said men don’t wear dresses?).


Cultural cool at Amine Bendriouich

Cultural cool at Amine Bendriouich



The designer himself — Amine Bendriouich

The designer himself — Amine Bendriouich



Slick tailoring at Amine Bendriouich

Slick tailoring at Amine Bendriouich



Meanwhile, Ahmed Talfit’s very chic evening dresses elegantly rubbed along with glass-encrusted and leather sharply-cut pieces, worn by half-naked models wearing the veil — or a glamorously jewelled-up version of the niqab. Clearly a statement.



Eye-catching interpretation at Ahmed Talfit

Making a statement at Ahmed Talfit



Great stuff overall.


And guess what? Elle Magazine and NowFashion were here, as well as our Sofia Guellaty, Editor-In-Chief of Masquerade Magazine (MSQRD), and co-founder of Unfair Magazine..Psss:  Rumor has it she was the first Arab The Sartorialist actually snapped. Yep. And she’s Tunisian.




Photography  by Rabiî Kalboussi, Courtesy of Tunisia Live




*British-Tunisian born Amel has lived in Tunis for 5 years, where she works in advertising as well as a freelance editor for www.tunisia-live.net. Together with Artistic Director and blogger, and fellow Ramp contributor, Moez Achour, (www.fashionplaylist.com), they like to wander around Tunis in the search of inspiring places and people that make up the new Tunisian scene. 


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