Excuse Me, Sir, Your Jalaba is Showing

It is an image that has inspired a thousand fashion collections: Patrick Lichfield’s photograph of Talitha Getty and John Paul Getty, Jr., on a Marrakech rooftop in 1969, when the couple were the embodiment of a certain kind of 1960s glamour, a hippie-de-luxe look that inspires me today.

Several years ago, my mother and I took a mind-blowing trip to Morocco, where I reveled in the landscape that inspired Paul Bowles to write his brilliant novel and allegory of spiritual adventure, The Sheltering Sky. I just LOVE this first edition cover, by the way.

In Marrakech and Fez, in particular, I couldn’t help but notice how graceful and comfortable the men looked swaying through the dusty, cobblestone streets in their traditional shirtdresses, or jalabas…

[Photo by Bryan Tighe]

I knew at least one man back in New York who would appreciate the sartorial freedom, and, let’s face it, shock value of wearing such a garment around our property at Smallpeace. So I bought him this…

And now every time we feel like people are driving too fast on our quiet country road…or the Dukes of Hazzard start gunning their Harleys around the corner, B throws on his jalaba, pulls up his pointy hood, and pretends he’s mowing the lawn. Flip ’em the bird? Why bother. Put in a speed bump? Who needs it. My man literally stops traffic.

This post is dedicated to our style-conscious friend photographer Andrew Hetherington, who appreciates a good jalaba when he sees one. xo

About Smallpeace

Michele Karas is a poet, essayist, and longstanding professional copywriter, who currently works for a top-five US book publisher. Her poems and prose have appeared in literary journals, including Tinderbox, THRUSH, Alaska Quarterly Review, and Narrative magazine, among others. Michele holds a BA in Journalism from San Diego State University and an MFA in Creative Writing from CUNY, The City College of New York. Find her on Twitter @small_peace.
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6 Responses to Excuse Me, Sir, Your Jalaba is Showing

  1. david says:

    Let’s hear it for sartorial freedom. Great post, Miche.

  2. Tricia Cambridge says:

    You’re not wrong there Michele, got quite the shock myself when I saw him dispensing breakfast in his Jalaba one morning up at Smallpeace.

  3. Smallpeace says:

    We aim to please, Tricia, we aim to please;-)

  4. Holly Glass says:

    Nothing sexier than Ber in a jalaba! Of course, I haven’t been to Morocco…

    • Smallpeace says:

      Must get to Morocco. And yes, it does help to see the jalaba effect in person, so thanks for putting us up while we are sans toilet, my dear. You have been a life saver!

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