"Riad de Tarabel is captivating. It was a beautiful and difficult decision to turn away from the cliché Moroccan palette and create such monotone elegance; warm grey paint frames the doorways and washes the balustrades, fine decorative wrought iron sweeps around the balconies. The floors are an eclectic mix of pale decorative tiles and the furniture and lighting appear stolen from a grand Parisian salon. Small stuffed parrots that have seen better days add a touch of quirkiness and their noble silence accentuates the shocking noiselessness of this haven.
Unfortunately, I am not here to unwind (I can feel it happening) as the riad is to become the backdrop of our Bridal Collection campaign shoot. The team gradually arrive from New York, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and London. Chosen for their special talent and flown in from all corners of the world I imagine we are the fashion equivalent of a Marvel Comic gathering. I am not disappointed.
We spend a day discussing shots around the Riad, planning the right dress for each location and with a local guide enter the souk to arrange some atmospheric reportage type shots. A small band of boys have been recruited to turn up tomorrow for the shoot dressed in their white djellaba to play page boy to our happily groomless bride.
In the evening we dine at Branson’s El Fenn. After a delicious tagine supper on the roof and a quick tour of the uncompromising modern art that cuts a sharp contrast to the sprawling riad’s historical nooks we pick up some styles from the hotel boutique where local talent meets contemporary chic. The shop was “closed..but ..open.. maybe not ..come back tomorrow but now is ok” said the hostess. This is a common Moroccan muddlement and it is best not to take no for an answer as you navigate the city or you may miss out.
My purchase is a fabulous printed shirt dress in vintage fabric and I enjoy the ‘out of souk’ experience of not having to pretend I don’t want it and walk away to finish up the usual bartering encounter and with joy pay the ticketed price.
We start early the next morning with yoga on the roof terrace feeling the warmth of the sun as it begins to rise over the terracotta coloured roofs.
It’s a gorgeous day and as the morning call to prayer begins the camera starts clicking. 12 hours later we all jump in the hotel pool and call it a wrap. It was 46 degrees as we followed photographer and film crew through a tour of the riad hotspots into the wilds of the souk as they played voyeur to our model, who began her day in a roll top bath over flowing with tulle and as the sun set was last seen riding side saddle on a moped that definitely didn’t have an MOT. A sweaty, tiring, unforgettably wonderful day.
Sitting on the plane I know I have a beautiful campaign to launch our collection and tonight somewhere in North London I will scatter stolen rosebuds from the riad’s bathroom into my tub and imagine I am back where I started just a few days ago."