On a scorching Sunday afternoon in Paris, hinting at the upcoming summer offerings soon to grace the runway, Casablanca gathered its guests in LeNotre Room beneath the Carrousel du Louvre. Sheltered in the dimly lit venue, hidden from the throngs of tourists visiting the iconic museum or basking in the blazing sun in front of Ieoh Ming Pei’s iconic glass pyramid, Casablanca unveiled its latest collection, ‘Day of Victory’.
Set against a backdrop of black curtains, Casablanca placed an immense rectangular carpet in gradient colors – from lush green to vibrant orange, transitioning through various shades of yellow. This chromatic statement remained true to the brand’s Franco-Moroccan roots and aesthetic. On the ceiling, a mirrored platform reflected the runway in the same gradient hues, creating a fascinating and warm geometric effect that enveloped the collection.
Accompanied by a fusion of rhythms, somewhere between electronic and African music, the show began with grace as the first model, donning a gradient-strapped dress buttoned above the knees, took the stage. This was soon followed by a men’s look featuring fluid, casual pants in the same gradient colors, paired with a knit shirt with black leather detailing on the collar and cuffs. Notably, a model with long, curly hair garnered attention in a unique three-quarter length jumpsuit, introducing the unexpected biker aesthetic that was about to unfold.
Quickly, a series of looks emerged, featuring mini padded bombers with the brand’s logo, flowing sweatshirts reminiscent of racing circuits, «Casa Sport» printed tight-fitting tops with the same aesthetic, and colorful biker jackets and helmets that became a recurring accessory.
Nigeria’s magnetic influence, the primary source of inspiration for this show surely became apparent. It infused optimism into the collection with beaded tops or skirts, halter neck midi dresses adorned with green accents mirroring the African country’s flag, sensual bikinis paired with semi-transparent crop tops, and a range of glossy garments with geometric patterns on a shiny black background. The male bathrobe also had its moment in the spotlight.
Casablanca’s signature exotic dandy style was present in various tricot ensembles, long chest-baring jumpsuits, and the brand’s signature short-sleeved patterned shirts. Women, on the other hand, sported tiny shorts paired with colorful shirts and tight-fitting tops, as well as more elegant looks with dazzling pantsuits and structured blazers adorned with the brand’s logo print. Accessories were not overlooked, with unisex handbags, rectangular tote bags, and refined sporty travel bags. The final looks saw a burst of tailoring – the only moment in which there was room for black and white – and a couple of sensual mini-dresses.
«Tailoring is tremendously important for Casablanca, so we moved in that direction, trying to present youthful proposals,» the brand’s founder and creative director, Charaf Tajer, said backstage after the show, underlining the continent of Africa’s youthfulness and untapped potential. «I wanted to be inspired by Nigeria because its music and artistic movements are incredible. Besides, it’s a country I adore and where many of my friends come from,» he added about the admiration he has had for the country for many years. This is not the first time Tajer, of Moroccan descent, has expressed his vision of the continent’s beauty in his collections.
For the luxury label’s driving force, a recipient of the LVMH Prize in 2020, his latest collection aims to resonate with various codes and aesthetics, representing Nigerian bourgeoisie while creating contrasts with the ‘techno girl’ or the ‘biker girl’. The collection’s central theme revolves around «creating certain characters and merging concepts.» Tajer enthusiastically concluded, «I love representing everything I like» about the opportunities afforded by the Casablanca project, which underwent internal restructuring in June of the previous year.