A last-minute break to Marrakech
Book an escape to Morocco's most fashionable city and pack the perfect wardrobe from Bally, writes Tamsin Crimmens
Designer hotels, a dynamic restaurant scene, concept stores and a new music festival are giving Marrakech an edge in 2017, making it the perfect spot for a spontaneous getaway.
Morocco's 'Jewel of the South' has always held allure for bohemian types into art, music and fashion. Its serpentine medina, buzzing souks and vibrant colours enticed The Rolling Stones and Andy Warhol here in the hedonistic 1960s and 70s.
Now, with the arrival of Jasper Conran's L'Hotel Marrakech, a renovated 18th-century riad in the heart of the city's medina, plus the new Museum of African Contemporary Art Al Maaden (Macaal) at Al Maaden golf resort, and a restaurant scene injected with new energy by the likes of Kamal Laftimi's Nomad, it's no wonder David Beckham chose Marrakech for his 40th birthday party, or Poppy Delevingne for her starry wedding reception.
Left: courtesy of L’Hotel in Marrakesh, Right: courtesy of David Loftus
From its architecture and arts to cuisine and crafts, artistry is everywhere in Marrakech. And like the place itself, Bally's Janelle babouche slippers perfectly meld the traditional with the modern. Inspired by the simple leather slipper worn in ancient Morocco, this season's contemporary styles forgo their original Aladdin-style curled-up toes for a softer, more elegant, almond shape.
Taking the wearer effortlessly from bazaar to bar, they feature a fold-down back that can also be worn up for a more structured look. Bally's Cristian moccasins for men feature the same stylish design quirk of the babouche heel, tucking down for easy traversing from Marrakech's intoxicating old medina to its thoroughly modern boutiques and concept stores.
Marrakech's souks are a mecca for shoppers searching for spices, silk kaftans, Berber rugs and hanging lanterns, and Bally's luxurious bovine leather backpack is perfect for hands-free haggling. The distinct Bally stripe underpins the men's accessories collection this season, giving hand luggage a sports luxe aesthetic as well as enough room to store new treasures.
Don't miss 33 Rue Majorelle, a light-filled emporium featuring the very best fashion, food, shoes, jewellery and accessories from top Moroccan designers and producers in trendy Gueliz. Creative types will love a stay at El Fenn hotel, where an artfully curated collection of vintage bags, perfumes, bed linens, locally-produced Beldi bread baskets and Fez pottery can be bought while sipping a cocktail in the boutique with a bar.
Bright and beautiful Marrakech inspires even the most sedate of dressers to don bold colours. Let the striking sunset behind the Medina inspire you to twist then tie Bally's distinctive belt-print fuchsia carre around the neck.
Head to Marrakech in September for quieter streets, less intense heat and the hip Oasis Festival: held at The Source, a stunning hotel complex nestled at the foot of the Atlas Mountains, expect music from Nicolas Jaar and Maceo Plex, plus yoga, henna and a champagne bar. Cover up in the cooler mountain air with Bally's fine wool and silk mix carre, or hang by the pool in Bally's men's sandals – perfect for slipping into hand luggage on a last-minute Moroccan escape.