Karim Adduchi gives Berber women a voice

Clothes as a means of storytelling.


Young talent Karim Adduchi is another of our New Fashion Perspectives designers. His graduate collection She Knows Why the Caged Bird Sings makes heavy use of traditional handicraft. The building blocks, including reed-like material used to make floor mats, weren’t necessarily meant for fashion garments in their original state, but turn into elegant gowns at the hand of Adduchi. Exploring his Moroccan heritage, the designer takes as his subject the symbolism and perception of Berber women, and the tradition of storytelling that they, like his own grandmother, keep alive.

What’s the story behind your work that will be shown in the exhibition?

My collection was a process of translating the symbolism and perception of Berber women, to give them a voice. It takes time and knowledge to unravel these women’s looks. I tried to show the duality of every material, creating the feeling of strength and fragility—the same duality that these women have.

What does being a fashion designer in 2016 mean to you?

It means to have your own vision, taking risks by translating stories into your own collection that might not follow the mass media systems. I use clothes as a storytelling method.

As a young designer, how do you feel about the current speed of fashion? How do you react to this?

I don’t work with patterns for the garments; I moulage design directly onto the real materials. In this way I make sure the garments are unique pieces. I’m the only one who can make them. It’s my way of not answering to mass production.


If there were just one thing you want people to remember about your work at the exhibition, what would it be?

I want to make them feel related to my own story by making it universal. My materials are made by hand in the Northern Berber territories of Morocco. When I design I keep the nature of the fabrics alive by mostly working with combining old methods and modern ones.

What do you hope visitors will realise after a visit to the exhibition?

The fashion that makes history could be the kind that can’t be produced. But you can listen to the story behind it.

The work of Karim is on show at New Fashion Perspectives between 15 and 24 April at Looiersgracht 60, Amsterdam.

Photography: Team Peter Stigter


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