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High Fez

Reinvigorating Moroccan style in Brooklyn.


Motif 56's woll throw cushions give Moroccan style a modern update.  

Moroccan seems to have become the McDonald’s of ethnic style. You’ll find some version of the same stuff—leather poufs, tagines, and perforated lanterns—at almost any Moroccan store, and while there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s time for something fresh. Which is exactly what Galila Riss is selling at Motif 56 (262 Court Street, Carroll Gardens; 718-797-5083).

The new store is the result of this Israeli fashion veteran’s many trips to Morocco (where she met her husband), but the goods aren’t clichéd. Leather poufs, for example, come in unusual cylindrical forms and atypical colors: black, white, fuchsia, even turquoise ($80–$160). Tagines—glazed clay platters for serving or stewing food—are similarly quirky: They’re available in a dozen or so sizes (starting at $20 for a tiny salt-and-pepper-size set) and crazy colors like Pepto-Bismol pink, high-gloss black, and turquoise.

There’s a fashion sensibility at work here, too, manifested in delicate pearl earrings displayed on birch logs, and tie-dyed leather bags. The most expensive items are gorgeous white and off-white throws made of wool with shaggy “stripes” and little mirrors ($200–$600). They’re incredibly modern—just like the rest of Riss’s updated takes on Moroccan style.


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