SIHAM EL HABTI / THE QUEEN OF MORROCAN KAFTANS7 min read
Elected African Art & Culture Ambassador in Benin in 2011, this Moroccan designer marked a page in the history of Moroccan craftsmanship as well as the memories of many women around the world with these prestigious caftans.
After studying optics in Nancy in 1999, she decided to return to her country of Morocco and invest herself fully in the family workshop alongside her mother, the famous seamstress Mme, who at the time was one of the greatest stylists in Morocco who completed a great school of model making, more than forty years of experience in the field of sewing, which gave birth to her signature: Dream Caftan.
After having joined the famous fashion school at LaSalle College, a leading school of reference in the world of fashion in Morocco and also in Canada because it is a subsidiary of a Canadian school, she obtained the Canadian diploma which goes open many doors for him with a specialty in fashion design and model making, the history of costumes, the study of textiles and the chemistry of materials.
Siham El Habti has lived all her life in the world of fashion, she likes to dispatch the work to these faithful craftsmen who trust her and who have followed her for many years. Dynamic, this designer with an overflowing imagination is driven by the desire to undertake and share her know-how.
She loves precision, perfection, and a sense of detail, with Dream Caftan she wanted to offer each woman who recognizes herself through her the desire to wear a unique kaftan in her image, a symbol of her elegance and her identity. She has a real family and creative spirit because the motto in her workshop remains that of sharing know-how as a team for the enhancement of each of the works of art emblematic of her signature.
All the praise goes to her mother, Mrs. Fouzia Berriah, whom she wishes to thank with all her heart for having transmitted to her this taste for noble materials, for having taken the time necessary to have taught her the rules for assembling materials and making her the great international designer who has dressed many celebrities around the world for many years and that she can be a source of pride for Morocco.
During these fashion studies, her mother encouraged her a lot and taught her everything about the art of fashion shows, the preparation of events as well as the setting up during private shows. Taste is the keyword, you have to have taste, this is the secret of success while respecting the terms to follow, and the sequence of colors, hence the importance of respecting the theme that you have chosen for the smooth running of operations in order to obtain a result that will delight our eyes.
For Siham El Habti, green is a symbolic color, it gives off a unique energy that gives her all the creativity needed to make her princess dresses. She feels attracted by this color, moreover, she does not consider any dress without a little touch of green which comes to mark her preference, green evokes purity and nature, peace, and sensuality. She likes all shades of green: from too dark green, to too light, she also likes grass green to leaf green, with Siham EL HABTI it is Mother Nature who comes to dress each of these creations. She admits on the other hand that all the colors are beautiful but that between her is the green it’s a big story. On the other hand, she tells us that the color she doesn’t like is yellow.
Her passion comes from her mother, she was her first inspiration, then it was Morocco, with architecture, during beautiful walks in the medina she was inspired by arabesques, Moroccan motifs which are present everywhere, magnificent mosaics, beautiful rugs, superb Moroccan living rooms and nature of the course, everything can inspire her but the idea comes instinctively from there the creation of each piece of her collection. Nature will be represented by the colors and the architecture these are the shapes given through each dress.
She was selected for the competition for the best creators in 2006, the theme she had chosen was the Moroccan living room and since this wonderful adventure, she has been in great demand. Each year she participates in the collaboration of the artisanal heritage of Moroccan ancestral sewing to perpetuate this unique and authentic art that is the Moroccan caftan. Allowing the sumptuous Dream Caftan dresses to be paraded on prestigious catwalks: in Geneva (Switzerland), Cairo (Egypt), Paris and Cannes (France), Beirut (Lebanon), Los Angeles, New York, and Washington (United States), Dubai (United Arab Emirates), London (England), Malaga and Cordoba (Spain), Doha (Qatar), Carthage (Tunisia)…
Siham El Habti represents the third generation in the world of the caftan, his grandmother also did sewing, and at the time everyone had a sewing machine at home at the time because it was very trendy.
In the world of couture, Siham El Habti admires the great Christain Lacroix for his mixture of colors which always fascinated her, her work is very close to Moroccan colors, brocades, and weavings, her particularity is that he dared to colors, and he allowed himself a specific mix of his own which really set him apart from other designers. Siham’s greatest wish is that she would have liked him to continue this great masterful work of which he alone had the secret.
Each of Dream Caftan’s creations is born from a theme, then it is shaped with pretty sketches in the form of drawings where each detail comes to pause, like a musical composition where each note in its place to form a wonderful melody that will dance the dress once the job is done to crown success. Our designer carefully chooses the colors and materials as well as the various accessories that will be used for the making of each dress to guarantee a result placed under the sign of excellence.
She really likes to work with embroideries and beads depending on the part she wants to highlight. Velvet is always a touch present in each of these works because this royal material raises and sublimates Moroccan work, it gives real added value and the work obtained with this material is worthy of that of the great queens, it also likes to linger to work on the sleeves, the collar, the belt, each part is studied with a fine comb so that
Seriousness, punctuality, research by drawing on the history of the costume and imagining it for more creativity and modernizing it at the same time to keep the traditional side without modernizing it too much, such is the secret of its success. She specifies that for the show we can innovate for the traditional side it is not too possible because the caftan must keep its true identity.
All the spirit of the caftan resides in the belt, it is all the know-how of the Moroccan craftsmen in charge of embroidering the belts and affixing the traditional buttons on the caftan.
She likes to work these fabrics with a plain base, which she embroiders, and beads and works with these fairy fingers to finish with the seal of Dream Caftan, namely the cut made by her mother which gives each of these creations the emblem family for many years.
At the time, the cut of the fabrics in vogue was the T-cut. Three years ago she decided to modernize the caftan, to bend it and flare it to bring a more glamorous and more refined touch. She also dared to use colors because previously the caftan was plain, she liked to draw inspiration from the dresses of ancient Egyptian films, where the women were dressed in magnificent dresses, each one more beautiful than the other, its particularity is that she was very quick-witted and had this ability to reproduce unique pieces just by observing them carefully.
His father loved to draw and moreover, was their favorite activity between father and daughters, drawings and colors were omnipresent in the family, his father helped him a lot in his work, and was his encyclopedia because he always knew how to advise her and give her the best ideas, which helped her a lot during her career. He helped her put the boat in the water and since then Siham El Habti has been successfully sailing alone toward many distant horizons.
She likes to dress thin people who exude sensuality and who wear the caftan well because that’s also the art of the caftan, to be able to do exceptional work to highlight the client’s shapes and to respect each of these requirements. But she admits that she prefers to be given carte blanche for the creation of the caftan because it always gives a magnificent result.
Dream Caftan dresses international celebrities: the famous Emirati singer Ahlam Ali Al Shamsi, the incredible Syrian singer Assalaa Nasri, the beautiful Lebanese soprano Majida El Roumi, the superb Lebanese Nawal Al Zoghbi, the charming Egyptian singer Sherine Abdel Wahab, the diva Moroccan Samira Said, the magnificent Lebanese singer Pascale Bechara Machaalani, the magnificent Turkish actresses Tuba Büyüküstün and Sulaf Fawakherji, and the talented Egyptian actress Nelly Karim… All these stars recognize themselves in the Dream Caftan style, they like to wear the colors of Morocco and wear creations in their image to be able to shine with a thousand lights during prestigious ceremonies where all their elegance and beauty are revealed with the jewel dresses made with great passion by Siham El Habti.
This mother-daughter duo complements each other wonderfully, all the creativity goes to Siham El Habti, her mother when she bequeathed to her the sense of rigor, and the mixing of colors but as far as the collections are concerned, it is Siham who hides behind each of them, she keeps abreast of trends to ensure that we are all offered caftans that make us dream.