About a month ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Liz Giardina and Derek Lam in Dallas, when they came to present the 10 Crosby fall collection to CUSP store managers and executives at the Four Seasons. We spoke about summer getaways, and Liz, one of our favorite designers because of her unique personal style, mentioned her exciting trip to Morocco. We definitely had to take a peek at her photos, but, more importantly, we wanted to hear her take on the city and culture. Listening to Liz recall her stay in Marrakech, where iconic designer Yves Saint Laurent resided part-time, is as inspiring as hearing her speak about her collections for Derek Lam 10 Crosby.

Take a look at Liz’s guide, and share with us your ultimate summer vacation spots below.

NM: How many cities did you visit in Morocco?
LG: I was only in Marrakech. I traveled to Paris for business and stopped in Marrakech for four days on my way back.

Marrakech

The inside of a friend’s apartment in the Medina in Marrakech.

NM: What was your favorite landmark to visit?
LG: Le Jardin Majorelle – the gardens behind Yves Saint Laurent’s famous Marrakech home. I had always wanted to see these gardens because there are so many iconic photos taken there, but most are in black-and-white. The colors are spectacular – electric blue, vivid sun yellow, with light aqua pools all highlighting and emphasizing the stunning orange goldfish and lush foliage.

Le Jardin Majorelle

One of many fountains at Le Jardin Majorelle. I still cannot get that electric blue out of my head.

Le Jardin Majorelle

Sitting in front of the Yves Saint Laurent memorial at Le Jardin Majorelle – the garden of Saint Laurent’s famous Marrakech home. I was very moved to be there.

NM: What were your favorites finds in the markets?
LG: I searched forever for old rugs made into pillowcases. I love what I found.

Marrakech

My selection of pillowcases made from old rugs.

For someone who is planning a trip to Morocco:

NM: Stay at…
LG: Riad El Fenn. Spectacular and right at the start of the souk. Perfect if you are there to shop and want to relax in a stunning riad (a traditional Moroccan house).

Riad El Fenn

Archway at the bottom of a staircase at Riad El Fenn.

NM: Shop at…
LG: At the souk (market) in the Medina. The souk is a labyrinth of tiny little shops selling everything you can imagine made in Morocco – rugs, leather slippers, lanterns, soaps. It’s overwhelming, mysterious and magical.

souk

Shopping for rugs in the souk. I spent hours in this shop and walked away with treasures.

souk

A master plaster carver in the souk. Also the chicest man in Marrakech.

NM: Eat at…
LG: Dar Yacout. Some people say it is a tourist trap, but it is the most visually stunning place I have ever dined. I would highly recommend it to anyone going to Marrakech.

Dar Yacout

The courtyard at the spectacular restaurant Dar Yacout.

NM: Must try (food)…
LG: I am an adventurous eater so I try everything. Anything coming out of tagine was delicious and healthy.

NM: Must do…
LG: Don’t be afraid to just get lost in the souk. It is wonderful to just wander around, marvel at the beautiful goods for sale and meet the locals.

NM: I’m sure you found a lot of inspiration throughout your trip. What Moroccan treasure did you bring back to the studio?
LG: I took many photos of textiles and architecture that I brought back for fabric and print inspiration.

Riad El Fenn

One of the infinite inspiring nooks at Riad El Fenn. So much of the beauty of Marrakech is about beauty dark and moody lighting – this is a great example.

Photos courtesy of Liz Giardina.

Category:  Out of Office

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