CLEOPATRA

BEHIND THE COLLECTION

 

The 1963 film, "Cleopatra" starring Elizabeth Taylor was the spark that inspired this collection. The film won four Academy Awards, including an Oscar for Best Costume Design. These stunning gowns inspired by popular fashion trends were made to flatter Taylor; the movie even has been credited with making the "cat eye" makeup part of pop culture.  

From this classic visual, themes were drawn from both the movie and Egyptian culture. These themes include hieroglyphs, the Nile River, the lotus flower and the asp, or serpent. Additionally, there are Art Deco influences as a nod to the Egyptian revival period after Tutankhamun’s tomb was discovered in 1922.

A hammered forging technique adds a glistening texture that carries throughout the collection, creating movement and reflection.

"I have always been attracted to Egyptian culture. It's history, power and influence lasted thousands of years - much longer than any other civilization. There were a few infamous female pharaohs, but none captured the attention of our current culture and Hollywood like Cleopatra VII. She was the last powerful pharaoh, effectively brought down by the Romans. After her defeat, Egypt and the truth of her life and death fell to Roman propaganda. What is known is she was incredibly clever, intelligent and charismatic. She consolidated power, turned a struggling economy around, wrote a chemistry book and had children with some of the most powerful men in the world. Unfortunately, we mostly hear about the latter, reducing her real achievements to her romantic relationships.

Much like the pharaoh, we mostly hear the same about the charismatic Elizabeth Taylor. She was the first actress to demand one million dollars for a role and worked tirelessly to raise awareness and standards of care during the AIDS crisis, devoting much of her fortune to this cause. Once again, she is more commonly known for her relationships and for being a "diva."

The stories we tell about these women are filtered by our culture. I hope that we can all begin to speak to female power and accomplishment in the same way that we do with men."

Visit the Cleopatra Pinterest board for more visual inspiration.

xo Haley