The history of ancient Egypt is full of glory, determination, and women who refused to stick to biased moulds. Ever since Merneith of the first dynasty, who was a consort and regent, the road to the utmost power has been paved by unwavering women such as Hatshepsut, Nefertiti, Sobekneferu, and Cleopatra among others.
In a previous era – far gone but hardly ever forgotten – those queens ruled the cities of ancient Egypt and their names roamed the streets of the old world. Warriors, philanthropists, diplomats, naval commanders and authors; their legacy is still evident centuries after their revolutionary achievements. With that said, their melodramatic stories – which were sometimes worth majestic recognition by Hollywood – have not set foot on the cobblestone alleys of Paris.
Bent over a tray of glimmering precious stones, their hands intertwine as they both juxtapose their shared tokens of glory and transformation. Their backgrounds might be different; however, it only takes a matter of minutes in the presence of their selected stones and intricate sketches before they are both transformed into creative partners.
Just in time for the summer season, jewellery designer Dima Rashid and Paris-based lifestyle blogger Anika Bozik Al-Sarraj joined forces to bring ancient Egyptian heritage to the forefront of this year’s trends. The duo were inspired by a number of powerful symbols from the pharaonic epoch.
“It has been quite refreshing working on the collection with Anika and drawing inspirations from Egypt’s history and ancient civilization with its fantastical symbols and colours, which have always been my greatest muse. Meanwhile, this is certainly a nice teaser for what is yet to come this summer,” said Rashid with a soft side smile.
The eight-piece limited edition capsule cruise collection is a tribute to Cleopatra’s steadfast love and Hatshepsut’s fierceness. Meanwhile, it is also an ode to the ancient-Egyptian animal kingdom as it includes artistic renditions of the scarab and serpent. According to the designers, the scarab ‘Khepri is a symbol of transformation, while the serpent ‘Wadjet’ represents divinity in Ancient Egyptian civilization. Influenced by their personal aesthetic and lives in cosmopolitan cities, Rashid and Al Sarraj aimed to bring this alluring legacy to the modern woman in a contemporary presentation.
Other than embracing the recognizable silhouette of both animals in a minimalistic and surreal approach, the designers also capitalized on the concept of transformation. The collection includes a statement ring, which mimics the lateral undulation of a snake around the finger; yet, pays respect to the scarab with a rounded citrine stone. Furthermore, it includes few other pieces that could by restyled with few hand adjustments.
The collection’s star pair of earrings could be transformed from a dainty three-stone earring to a dramatic statement with seven added jewels. On the other hand, the main necklace follow suit with the option to add or remove tiers.
Even though Rashid is often known for preferring the mesmerizing hues of opal and good-energy of turquoise, this capsule collection depends on citrine as a main ally. According to Al-Sarraj, the citrine stone resembles the sun and the joy it brings on a daily basis with its warm tones. Accordingly, the stone is also another evident source of inspiration behind the collection.
“When we started designing, I imagined modern Cleopatra and what she could be wearing, which led us to draw inspiration from Ancient-Egyptian symbolism and re-introducing them in a conceptual manner. We both believe in the energy of stones and chose citrine for its symbolism and positivity,” stated Al-Sarraj with a wide enthusiastic smile.
Adorned with 18k gold and pave diamonds, which are well-known trademarks of Rashid’s fine craftsmanship, the well-crafted pieces were shot in the streets of Paris vwith Al-Sarraj in front of the camera.
A style influencer, fashion model, and journalist living between Paris, Belgrade, and Cairo, Al-Sarraj was discovered at the early age of 16 before embarking on a career in modelling—participating in international fashion weeks. Her resume includes walking the runways of MaxMara, Roberto Cavalli, and La Perla among others. Meanwhile, she has been a regular face on the pages of numerous magazines including Elle, Cosmo, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and Maxim.
Born in Palestine, while being raised between Kuwait and Canada, Rashid’s true story only started when she settled in Egypt. The jewellery designer is an advocate of ethical precious stones and thought-through craftsmanship. Founded in 2002, her eponymous brand—Dima Jewellery—is already a favourite among Arab and international influential women—including Queen Rania of Jordan, Gigi Hadid, Naomi Campbell, Yousra, and Mona Zaki among others.
The collection is currently available for pre-orders before its official launch at Dima Jewellery’s North-Coast point of sales on the 15f August.