A safari trip is set to delve through the golden dunes of the desert and bask in the illuminous rays of the sun. At the heart of the Saharan Desert, oceans of sand warmly welcome visitors and palms stand leisurely around the glimmering crystal portions of water. Often perceived as the land of minimalism, the vast land harbours illustrious nature and various wonders.
For the cold season of 2019’s fall and winter, local jewellery designer, Jude Benhalim, decided to leave behind her well-acquainted urban city in favour of the mesmerising desert. La Sierra is her artistic exploration of the rarely discovered region. From the grandeur of the landscape to the magic found in the tiniest particles of sand, the collection mimics the curvy dunes and the engulfing hue of gold spotted at every direction.
Much like the surrounding sand, the collection gives an impression of liquid gold. The pieces creatively embrace the desert’s typography through turning them into wearable pieces of statement jewellery. Made out of Benhalim’s signature 925 sterling silver and gold-plated brass, the 11-piece collection is a fashion-fuelled interpretation of movement. From necklaces to earrings, bracelets and rings – all pieces embrace a pop of colour through the utilisation of hand-painted resin stones. The colours vary between burgundy, petroleum, and teal, all contrasting with the powerful silver and gold.
Much like all of the designer’s previous work, this collection highly depends on traditional local craftsmanship. Benhalim is notorious for working with skilled local artisans, who contribute quality and uniqueness to each of her creations. Ever since her earliest collection in 2011, the designer has managed to provide a winning high-end formula of contemporary designs and local craftsmanship.
According to the designer, her keenness on working with local artisans is attributed to her desire to continuously pay tribute to her roots. Despite her regional and international expansion, which was driven by media praise and a wide chain of outlets, Benhalim is not planning to change her means of production anytime soon. Supporting Egyptian art and craftsmanship will remain to be a core value that the designer goes by. With that said, Benhalim is also invested in supporting female breadwinners in particular.
The team is currently specialised in hand piercing, stone setting, and resin shaping. According to the designer, the resin alone requires an intricate process of hand piecing by using a strong adhesive. Furthermore, the designer is still on the path of exploring new designs and manufacturing techniques.