Woman’s Evening Ensemble

Origin: Morocco

Year: Late 20th Century

Collection: Courtesy of Malika Chenoufi

Materials: Chartreuse satin and moiré

A great example of the versatility of the T-shape and the beautiful effects possible through choice of fabric, techniques, and silhouette, this ensemble reflects the style’s persistence in contemporary attire. The satin and moiré fabrics give the gown an airy, flowing line, in contrast to the other more traditional garments in this group. Two important details of differentiation and re-use are the belt that is a Moroccan addition to the traditional T-shape design of the caftan and the scarf that is rested on one shoulder. The belt emphasizing the waist is reminiscent of Western dress, while the scarf is a reminder of the Indian sari.

The outer coat is closed at the front with a multitude of tiny fabric toggle buttons secured by loops—another traditional means dating back to the Middle Ages. The fleur-de-lis embroidery, framing the scalloped edges of the undergarment and netting of the scarf, enhance its graceful simplicity.