February is the seasonal time that Susie and I are normally heads down designing and planning our new Homebody collections and right now it is Spring 2021!
It seems like a long way away, but actually the new styles and colours will arrive in store much earlier than that and when making fabric from scratch, our timing is critical if we want to meet deadlines.
This month travel was high on the agenda as living in a capital like London can feel a little dark and flat. I really wanted to experience the colours and the architecture of Morocco and so after a hectic few weeks, decided on a whim to head off to Marrakech.
Why Marrakech ?
Marrakech historically is clearly a destination for artists and designers such as Jacques Marjorelle and Yves Saint Laurent and it was amazing to visit the gardens they created and stare at the vivid blues and yellows that were everywhere, but although this was a great place to visit, for me it was overrun by tourists - I wanted to get out and see the real Marrakech that I had heard so much about.
It was when visiting the Atlas Mountains and chatted to the warm and friendly Berber people, that this quiet and peaceful destination really came alive for me.
Here inhabitants live long and active lives , climbing everyday, even in their nineties and eating food they have grown and cooked – no ready made meals here!
We were told how villagers all work together , that they all knowing each other and are never fighting . Their doors are open always and children run around freely. Tourism, is welcomed and controlled as it is their main source of income.
It was clear, however that they, like the rest of the globe, are battling climate change as the weather was unseasonably hot for this time of year (it has to be said, this was our gain!)
Back in the city, we visited the palace and the souk and it was there that I fell in love with the colours, the smells and the beautiful flavours of Marrakech.
From the numerous market sellers of the tagine pots to the endless offerings of sandals and leather goods, it was amazing to see craftspeople using their skills to make, something we rarely see today and it was reassuring to see that these skills do still exist.
For me, it was the colours of the unfired terracotta, the blues of the ancient buildings, and the colours of the Djellabahs that really inspired and will remain with me for quite some time after I return to the cold unrelenting rain of England!