From Morocco, with Love

tunic2

When I saw a preview of Sea NY’s spring collection on Barneys’ Instagram, I was delighted.

Leather Jacket: Diane von Furstenberg (Consignment) | Striped Tunic: Bought From a Street Vendor in Morocco | Shoes: AllSaints (Consignment) | Necklace: Marni (Consignment) | Handbag: Chloe (Barneys)
Leather Jacket: Diane von Furstenberg (Consignment) | Striped Tunic: Bought From a Street Vendor in Morocco | Pants: Theory (Outlet) | Shoes: AllSaints (Consignment) | Necklace: Marni (Consignment) | Handbag: Chloe (Barneys)
A  Moroccan-inspired design from Sea NY.
A Moroccan-inspired design from Sea NY.

The Sea NY tunic (left) was an exact replica of one I had purchased during my recent road trip across Morocco.

That trip was aesthetically inspiring – as evidenced by my writings here and here – but the experience was also immersive.

I found that clothing could be a doorway for two cultures to commune and communicate. When you travel, what you wear can be a sign of respect, ceremony and reverence to ancient religions and local customs.

Even shopping was a cultural decoder, thanks to the nuance of negotiations, casual conversation and commerce.

But it feels like the world is changing. Conflicts have already severed our connections to ancient wonders of the world: For many years, I could not afford a vacation to Egypt, but I took comfort in the fact that the pyramids would “always be there.” Now, it is too unpredictable to travel there (look at this chilling travel warning), and the closest I can get to the Pyramids of Giza is via Google map.

tunic2

I sometimes worry that a peaceful, vibrant place like Morocco, which borders tumultuous places like Algeria, may one day be too dangerous to revisit. But I also know this fear is futile — and the best weapon to combat it is curiosity. Exploring new places without fear or preconceived notions creates cross-cultural exposure and breeds tolerance. The world needs both right now.

Today’s outfit is one of my favorites. Yes, it re-purposes a memento as the focal point of a work-appropriate outfit. But more importantly, it connects me to a place where different cultures and belief systems coexist in harmony.

That connection is stronger than fear, and I’ll hold onto it forever.

  • ee_by_cc

    What an amazing find with that Moroccan tunic! I’ve been trying to convince my husband that our one year anniversary trip should be to Marrakech. Perhaps I can use this post as a way to sway him. Also, the shoulders on your leather jacket are AMAZING!
    http://www.enduringethereal.com

    • http://www.TheStylePragmatist.com/ Diana @ The Style Pragmatist

      Morocco is a wonderful romantic destination, and Marrakech is so vibrant and fun. For something truly special, you should also go to a small village called Taroudant. There is a riad called Dar al Hossoun that is heaven on earth. Skip the Western hotels — this is the stuff dreams are made of.