“Do good and throw it to the sea,” says an Egyptian proverb; meaning do good without waiting for any immediate rewards.
In Egypt, we have proverbs for every occasion — both good and bad — phrased in classical Arabic and colloquial for a touch of humor and sass, as if spoken by feisty Egyptian housewives. You know the type: big and brash with an intelligence that deftly articulates wisdom and truth in metaphors and parables. So much a part of our everyday life we forget to value them, that is until engraved on Azza Fahmy’s new jewelry collection for her 2011 Culture line.
“Ala Ra’y El-Masal” (or “As the saying goes”), the name of the collection and in itself a saying to suggest that one must leave it to age-old wisdom to take care of life’s matters. Fahmy took care of aesthetic manners by designing a large collection of beautiful pieces with much variety, placing both favorites and unknown classical and colloquial proverbs on rings, pendants, necklaces, cuff bracelets and cufflinks —intended for men — that are being snapped up by women.
The release of Fahmy’s culture collection each year has women rushing to buy the pieces that take design references from Egyptian culture, often selling out quickly with high demand for reproductions.
Should one be so lucky, designs are revived and Fahmy has ingeniously selected older designs and much requested favorites to pair with her new theme in addition to designing new ideas. Fahmy uses gold and silver, we well as interesting semi precious stones including cornelian, lapis, onyx and tourmaline. Most pieces are available in different stone options.
Standout pieces from the collection include a necklace formed from several strings of garnet and silver “beads,” with three pendants hanging down. There is no clasp for this necklace, the wearer is to play around with winding it around her neck, crisscrossing it backwards or forwards, letting one strand hang higher or lower or else leave it to dangle down her back — giving a dramatic effect if paired with a backless dress.
Rings are bold yet delicate. One flat-faced inscribed with the saying “With cordial relations flourishes love” is bordered in gold and flanked by onyx stones, with strong almost masculine lines. Another is detailed with delicate silver like a traditional Moulid doll figurine, charming and playful.
Wear them singularly or wear two or three across several fingers for an intense effect. Whatever your choice, Fahmy’s designs for rings have evolved recently aspiring towards a more youthful taste.
The collection’s greatest asset from a marketing point of view is the immense versatility of shapes and styles available to accommodate a range of women. But the spirit of the collection regardless is more streamlined and modern. Younger women can opt for more subtle pieces such as the gold hoop earrings with small suspending balls detailed with filigree or birds. The motif of birds was inspired by an earlier popular collection wholly based on birds and Fahmy in that manner looks to both her past and present as a designer.
But decorative details aside, the collection has many technical novelties. A mesh link bracelet, like the armory of a knight, bends and undulates so comfortably on the hand. A necklace from the collection is composed of repetitive flat shaped discs moving fluidly as well and its matching bracelet, not necessarily intended to be paired together, are some of the many highlights.
The collection also treads a balanced line between being appropriate for day use and more formal for nighttime.
The new Culture collection is available in all Azza Fahmy stores across Egypt.
Slim rings with dramatic detailing: the ring on the right has been inspired from the traditional Moulid dolls.
A necklace made with no clasp is designed to be roped around the neck, wound tightly or loosely to accommodate different necklines and tastes.
Birds in hoop earrings are so charming. Wings have been highlighted in delicate filigree work.