Sunroom Q+A: Marrakshi Life
Launched in 2013 by photographer Randall Bachner, Marrakshi Life is both an embrace of the traditional Moroccan wardrobe and a reimagining of it. From their Marrakech atelier, a skilled team of artisans hand makes each of their extremely comfortable yet refined designs.
From oversized tunics to flowing caftans, woven pants in aubergine and golden hour hues...we cannot get enough. To welcome back Marrakshi Life to Sunroom with their most recent collection, we invited Randall back for a refreshed Sunroom interview on his visions for the line, ongoing inspirations, and how his line has evolved over the last year.
Marrakshi Life is reimagining traditional Moroccan dress for a modern aesthetic and wardrobe. How much of this process involves preserving a traditional past vs. reinventing something new entirely?
The weaving process and techniques and looms are one hundred percent authentic and traditional. The fabrics and motifs are where the modernity and the twist come into play.
Can you share more about your origins as a designer? Do you consider your career as a photographer separate from your role now, or are they fused?
I still consider myself an image maker but in a different way — designing the clothes and looks to create a certain mood and vision, with the end result being a dynamic photo. I have always been creative, from the visual arts to the performing arts and somehow designing encompasses all of these mediums in one. It’s really the ultimate dream.
Can you share more about some of the traditional Moroccan weaving practices you follow?
From the spinning of the yarns to the ancient wooden looms passed down to us from generations of weavers to how it takes six men to load one warp on a loom are all practices that have been done for hundreds of years. There is nothing about our process that is modern, which explains the time it takes to make each garment.
How has your design process changed in the past year?
The design process for me is always an evolution from the previous season. Listening to our clients and hearing their preferences, I let this absorb into my process and how I approach the new season (this influences which styles, color ways, and fabrics I choose to develop).
What inspirations are anchoring your most recent, Collection 09?
Collection 09 is about color of course. I always begin the collection with the study of colors and the relationship they have with one another. I divided this collection into different color groups that together tell a story of the coming season. I believed this collection takes you from late summer to early fall and then to winter, this is all represented through the chosen color palette and striped combos.
How has your relationship to design and lifestyle changed now that you've been established in Marrakech?
Marrakech is a city of color and a place where all your senses come alive. I think this is why each collection comes out so dynamic because Morocco is so vibrant and alive everywhere you look. Our atelier is also so dynamic and full of energy, it only seems right to work with all the colors that surround us and put that forward to the world
From what place are you most consistently able to create from?
I create best when I feel safe, supported, loved, calm. From this mental space I can really flourish as a creative soul.
Do you have any preparatory rituals that help you get into a creative space?
Aromatherapy, oils and candles really help me get into the zone. My physical environment is also important as well as climate. And sound. I need to feel balanced on all fronts to really delve into the creative process.
+ Quick Fire!
In the next 3 months, I really want to: Get married.
My mantra or a favorite quotation: Cliches exist for a reason.
My most personally adorned or treasured item? The gold chain around my neck.
The best purchase I’ve made under $100:
This pen called “DUDE” from Japan by a brand named OHTO that I got at the store McNally Jackson in NYC. And this crystal infused aromatherapy oil called slow vibes by the brand thghtsnctry that I picked up at the goop store in NYC.
An update to when we last checked in...My ultimate escape — real or imagined:
Still dreaming of lounging beachside in Jamaica with a tropical cocktail in one hand and some local green in the other :)