The Cleopatra Collection
Certain places immediately conjure images in the mind. Think of Egypt, for instance, and you cannot help but see the Pyramids, the Sphinx, scarabs, the Nile, Pharaohs. Egypt is synonymous with ancient majesty, power, opulence, and its timeless aesthetic, which was imbued in every aspect of existence.
Only a few individuals conjure images in the same way. Cleopatra is one of them. Perhaps the best known of Egypt’s ancient rulers, most accounts portray her as savvy, influential and irresistibly charming. She is much more than that, of course. She is a legend: the proud queen of a civilization in decline, master politician, fashion icon, fluent in several languages, educated in mathematics, philosophy, oratory and astronomy... She was also a romantic at heart
Intriguingly, the endurance of her legend is the most significant thing we can verify about her. We know much about her, yet she is surrounded by mysteries. I believe those mysteries are a large part of why her legend endures. The tantalizing mixture of facts and mysteries allow us to imagine her as we wish to, not as history books tells us to. Did she really melt a priceless pearl in vinegar just to win a bet? Or smuggle herself into Caesar’s quarters wrapped in a carpet? Does the truth matter? Some say she didn’t even die from an asp bite, that this was just a Shakespearean metaphor. Perhaps the truth never really mattered...
It’s no surprise that I see her jewelry as a significant aspect of that legend. Cleopatra’s love of jewelry is one of the few facts about her that we know to be true. She understood how it could be used to command attention, the way it could transcend language and convey her strength before any words were spoken. Even the ladies of Roman high-society were transfixed by her. Many of them adopted the queen’s exotic hairstyles and opulent jewelry.
This collection of bold and distinctive wearable sculpture is inspired by her, the one and only Queen of the Nile. It pays homage to her remarkable defiance of expectations, to the countless ways that she challenged the status quo, and to the enduring power of her mystery.