Ode to africa with a moroccan twist
With Moroccan influences and African inspiration, Loubna Ayouche Combalat of Loayo Art & Creations aspires to bring a luxury womenswear collection that’s a modern fusion of fashion and art, writes
ANY piece designed by Loubna Ayouche Combalat can be considered “wearable art”. Combalat, who’s Moroccanborn but living in South Africa, is the artist and designer behind the clothing label Loayo Art & Creations.
Her latest collection was showcased at this year’s Africa Fashion International Cape Town Fashion Week held at the Cape Town International Conference Centre. I spoke to the artist and fashion designer, who describes her work as a modern fusion of fashion and art, about her inspiration.
How would you describe your work?
It is the vehicle I use to channel my creativity and bring to life my dreams. It is a passionate self-expression through the use of vivid colours, texture and fluid rhythms. It is a celebration of fashion that has a positive influence on women, making them feel happy, self-confident, bold and special.
What’s the inspiration behind this collection?
Africa, its colours, its people and its lands. I aspired to bring a collection where Africa is indelible in every outfit, a collection full of colours and textures, that breathes the vibrancy and energy of Africa, a collection with kind of magical ability to brighten up winter days, in particular, and any day, in general, and give them a glow to lift the winter mood. A kind of happy mood booster that defies how our environment shapes our mood and influence its patterns.
How does your artwork influence your designs?
Each painting becomes a journey where I lose all sense of reality and time. Every finished canvas is a chapter in my story. I dream in colours and then paint those dreams. I dream of a thousand pictures, then I transform my dreams into living works of art, colour and texture.
My dreams become my art and the canvas holds my journey. That art will be my inspiration for the next step that is the design and creation of the garment. The art is then brought to life, by getting transferred on to fabrics to create limited edition and exclusive luxury women’s couture I am proud to call Loayo Art. The Loayo woman is a sophisticated, self-confident woman who believes in being different, authentic and unique. A woman who does not want to fall into the conventional and who is not scared to stand out in the crowd. Through her clothes, she wants to express her uniqueness and lavish lifestyle.
Do you have a favourite piece in your collection?
I have a special connection with each piece of the collection but the first outfit (to appear on the runway) is very special to my heart. The painting is called: Here I am, I am Africa.
It is Africa in motion. Africa not as a continent but the one and only country, the south, north, east and west come together united to celebrate their rich heritage and history. It is the voice of Africa in motion, uniting all African countries.
I conceived that piece in a way to show Africa although it’s made up of 54 countries, each different from the other politically, socially and economically, they still share many similarities and the first one is their love and respect for their culture and heritage, their liking for vibrant and bold colours, a symbol of the rich history and culture of Africa.
Which piece from your collection would you consider a “must-have”?
The Loayo denim shirt-dress. Every woman needs to have a shirt dress in her closet. The Loayo version is an innovative one of the classic shirt dress. It is made of denim and art fabric. Mixing fabrics and combining colours and textures added character and a personal touch making it a timeless outfit. Elegant and stylish yet comfortable, it can be dressed up or down: with sandals, sneakers or heels for dressier occasions.
Describe the woman who you see wearing your designs?
DESIGNER Loubna Ayouche Combalat takes a bow during AFI Cape Town Fashion Week.
THE first outfit to appear on the runway has a special place in Combalat’s heart.