by Sonia Staali
February 29, 2020
Leila has always been fascinated by textiles, colors, mix of prints, graphics, drawing... From the age of 5, she began studying at the Ateliers du Carrousel du Louvre in Paris where she learned different artistic techniques. During a training course, she met great Moroccan painters, then she joined the prestigious Studio Berçot in Paris, and find an opportunity to become a stylist in France and Morocco. In 2013, Leila decides to launch her brand Lalla De Moulati.
What does the brand name mean?
Lalla de Moulati comes from the typically Moroccan expression, really ingrained in Moroccan history and heritage, "Lalla Moulati" which is a qualifier meaning several things. In Morocco, a woman is said to be Lalla Moulati when we mean that she is strong, has a temperament, is refined, sophisticated, noble in her behavior, in her attitude. And I wanted this brand to reflect what I am, half French, half Moroccan...
Where does this passion for craftsmanship come from?
I have (had) the chance to be immersed in arts and crafts since my birth... My mother, a former student of the Louvre School, has always been passionate about crafts and particularly the crafts of all regions of Morocco. She transmitted this passion and love to me.
Every trip to Morocco, since I was a child, was an opportunity to discover a region and its know-how: ceramics, leather, basketry, pottery, textiles, embroidery... These images, these heritages are deeply rooted in my memory and resurface almost unconsciously in my creative universe.
Where do you get your inspiration?
My inspirations come essentially from elements of Moroccan and European heritage that I rework by mixing them together.
They are often architectural or ornamental elements such as:
- the zelliges, graphic, simple, universal;
- the floral motifs of the Rabat embroideries, or the woodwork of the ceilings that can be associated with the floral motifs of the 18th century French as the flowers of Pierre Joseph Redouté,
- the embroidery of Fez very structured, almost a grammar of signs;
- the elements of the Christian religious iconography, the cherubs, the symbols of the sun, the clouds...the Baroque or the Rococco.
How would you define your designs?
I would say that my designs are a personal synthesis, a bridge between the heritage of North Africa and the western world.
What are your 3 best addresses in Paris and Morocco?
-Les puces de la Porte de Vanves, I find old textiles that I use as raw materials for my creations. You can also find all kinds of antique furniture, wedding bells...and the salesmen are really very "Parisian titi"...we find there a little bit of the Parisian spirit I would say! The people who sell are real connoisseurs, and even if you don't buy anything, it's always a real pleasure to talk with them...
-The galleries of the Palais Royal, a historical place, are an architectural jewel. I like to wander through the galleries... There is one of the oldest restaurants in Paris and the shops are really beautiful...
-Parisian galleries and passages (passage Choiseul, Vivienne gallery, passage du Grand Cerf...). Unusual, mostly built in the 19th century, they are home to shops, bookshops, tea rooms, restaurants, and even theatres... A real plunge into time and real architectural wonders!
-In Marrakech, the Beldy Country Club
-Between Rabat et Salé, the potters' complex "Oulja" real concentration of craftsmen working in pottery, basketry, or wood ... I used to come there regularly as a young person I have my habits ... it's a place with real authenticity ...
-Downtown of Casablanca, with all its art deco architecture ... left somehow abandoned, but an architectural marvel ...
You haven't really visited Morocco if you haven't...
If you haven't been to the rural souks, which take place on different days of the week. Each souk is named after the day on which it takes place...
It's an event during which we make a real space-time trip! For me, it's a bit like a vestige of the Middle Ages I would say, without any pejorative connotation... You can see everything there, between the local handicrafts, the improvised restaurants where you eat meat or fish, fruits and vegetables, the accumulation of Moroccan products of all kinds or coming from China, the vendors of miracle products for health or marital well-being, the physical types of the regions, the regional accents... it's really a festival between curiosity and the court of miracles! But for me, it is above all the authentic Morocco!
To discover its creations, it is here!