Fashion seen merely as a spectacle of vanities can be limiting in its true purpose.  I believe that fashion provides an important way for self-expression and affords an opportunity to be leveraged as a form of political, and or cultural expression by giving garment agency.

Aesthetic alone cannot be sustained without a defined purpose. We dress to show our stature, to be visible,  to make a statement, to wage war, or to expose our vulnerabilities, strengths or hide behind our flaws.   Whatever the reason is, garments afford us the ability to forge an identity and convey a message. Rei Kawakubo’s latest collection is evidence of that with grossly enlarged models buried under layers of padding. The message: Smashing unreasonable standards of beauty.

Comme Des Garçons’ SS 19 collection was undergirded with je m’enfoutisme. Models wearing grey wigs, purposely distorted hips, and buttocks.  Defiant nonchalance was thrust on us in the most egregious way. This memorable spring collection is all about pushing boundaries and rebelling against the status quo.

Kawakubo’s challenged us to rise above conventional standards of beauty, and shying away from unflinching social norms with models protruding out of their clothes to decry unrealistic beauty standards.  This is particularly significant at a time where body positivity is needed to overturn an outdated and increasingly toxic narrative.

xx, Kenza

 

 

 

 

Oh what I would have given to attend fashion week spring/summer collection in Paris. This year did not disappoint with Anthony Vaccarello putting an unforgettable show for the iconic brand Yves Saint Laurent. With models walking on water underneath the sparkling Eiffel Tower to white led lighted palm trees, no expenses were spared to dazzle the opulent crowd who marveled at the haute couture défilé de mode and its impressive lineup of models. This collection will undoubtedly be sealed in the annals of fashion for years to come, if not decades.  The spectacle was nothing short of breathtaking, classy with a rock-and-roll edge and dash of magical sprinkles–truly spellbinding.

xx, Kenza

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos credits: Harrison Tsui via HarpersBazaar and Getty.

 

These past two weeks have been entirely grueling mentally and physically with the end of the fiscal year ending and work deadlines that got me stuck in the office working frantically to meet the rush of proposal deadlines that fall under my grants portfolio. Yes, working for a nonprofit can be tremendously rewarding, but at times it gets very stressful and is really no more different than working for any for-profit organizations.  In sum, stress got me looking forward to my November trip to Marrakesh! I’m beyond excited! And this beautiful boutique hotel is making me that much more eager. While I haven’t finalized my traveling plans just yet, I couldn’t resist sharing this beautiful gemstone that is the El Fenn hotel

Nestled just five minutes away from Djemaa el Fna, and surrounded by tree-filled courtyards, El Fenn offers a whimsical and shelter from the hustle and bustle of the city.

 

 

 

My eyes are simply fixed on this drop-dead gorgeous bathtub, oh how I wish I could be there right now.

 

 

What is there not to like? From this inviting mustard yellow velvet couch, Moroccan embroidery motifs, and french checker tiles which make this space completely spellbinding, just everything evokes complete relaxation.

It is no surprise that Morocco is considered the country of allure, magic, and mystery. Moroccan decor and architectural elements that draw inspiration from Islam are omnipresent, just as much as the Moorish architecture and earth tone colors that are so soothing to the eye, not to mention holds the soul hostage.

 

 

Oh, and those burgundy pink painted walls are so inviting and contrast with the previous bathroom seen earlier. And this silver clawfoot bathtub adds such a touch of sophistication!

What also makes this hotel so inviting is that it’s home to a lovely store that curates the best of what Marrakesh has to offer, from vintage accessories, leather goods, to pottery and jewelry, and even artwork all locally crafted with passion and love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Decisions, decisions.  Selecting a hotel has never been as difficult with the abundance of Ryads and boutique hotels found abound throughout the city. I still have a few weeks to book my hotel reservation, but I am definitely swooning over El Fenn hotel.

xx, Kenza

 

Photo credits: via El Fenn Hotel

 

Ever been faced with the difficult choice of having to choose a gelato ice cream amongst an endless selection of tantalizing mouth-watering flavors? Having to rule out other flavors is nearly impossible if not downright cruel. In my case greed always trumps over modesty, especially for an unapologetic foodie like me. Choosing can be a cruel exercise of self-restraint, but fortunately for me, I have found something to indulge that is much more forgiving for my waistline though not necessarily on my wallet.
Enter the wonderful world of Darner, a brand whose sole focus is making your footsies look good and en-vogue. I am at awe with the creative ingenuity of this Los Angeles- based brand whose entire supply chain is not only ethically certified, but stitched with love in LA. I love that darner’s sole focus is on socks, but not just any kind of socks, I am talking about head-turning statement socks designed to tie your wardrobe together.  From dark green crushed velvetberry crushed velvet, lavender crushed velvet to whimsical hues like olive stripes mesh, violet mesh, and green mesh, the choices are quite abundant, but it is the Silver velvet that is the most strikingly opulent to me. It makes such a powerful statement and will leave a lasting impression.

xx, Kenza

  
      
    

This whimsical courtyard filled with luscious giant birds of paradise overlooking this emerald green plunge pool makes me want to get on a red-eye flight and head out to Marrakesh. It’s been many years since I have gone back to Morroco and the need to go back to my roots–the land of my ancestors is stronger than ever, especially after stumbling into this mesmerizing riad and its wondrous exotic courtyard. Located near the Pasha’s palace and just a few minutes from the Jamaa El Fna.

 

Nestled in the heard of Marrakesh’s medina, Villa Dar Cheref offers a reprieve from the scorching heat during the hot summer months. A lot of courtyards in Morroco have been built with the heat in mind, and the abundance of luscious exotic trees help keep this courtyard shaded and breezy.

 

 

 

I am also in swooning over this gorgeous lovely terrace and could see myself soaking up the sun on one of those lounge chairs, a world away from the daily LA hustle and grind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The rest of this magical riad can be accessed here.

xx, Kenza

Photos credits: Villanova