The Democratic Republic of Algeria is diverse with people of primarily Arab, Berber and French origin. As the 10th largest country on Earth and the largest in Africa, Algeria enjoys a Mediterranean coastline and shares borders with many neighbors: Tunisia, Libya, Morocco, the Western Saharan, Mauritania, Mali and Niger.
Today, March 1, President Abdelaziz Bouteflika is celebrating his 80th birthday. And, despite the fact that citizens have rarely seen him since a stroke in 2013, the country continues to function without a “power vacuum” developing, and its culture, music, art, and of course, fashion, thrives beautifully.
In the traditional sense, women in the capital Algiers wear the Karakou, a dress including pants and a lovely velvet jacket with intricate gold and silver embroidery. In Western Algeria, a full-length dress called a Blousa decorated in lace and sequins is traditional garb.
Modern fashion there is amazing! One of Algeria’s past Fashion Weeks, the “Light and Liberty” show organized by Algerian Ministry of Culture and France-Algerian Association Rhone Alpes, highlighted loads of talented Algerian designers, and “Red Carpet” wonders that any woman worldwide would want to spend an evening wearing.
The level of creative talent and sheer work that goes into the making of many Algerian traditional dresses has been carried over by designers in even the more casual fashion. Ladies around the globe…..feast your eyes on Algerian women’s diverse everyday wear. Hmm…..imagine a shopping trip to Algiers for a change from New York for the latest fashion trends!
Rarely, but somewhat revived recently, a few young women in Algeria have decided to venture out in the “Haik,” a traditional head-covering garment and an alternative to the Middle Eastern Hijab that many of their grandmothers wore.