Ten Thinks: The Egyptian Style Revival
Bare with me on this one – Egypt needs a revival – well another one. When I was a child I was ill quite a bit (yes one of those) and I would entertain myself for hours and hours with stories of the Ancient Egyptians. I can’t pinpoint exactly what it was that attracted me but I was hooked. As I grew up I realised how niche my taste was but I still view it as one of my greatest style influences. So here we go I’m going down memory lane to remember just how stylish they were – and you’re coming with me.
So lets start with the big one – the discovery of the boy king in his un-raided tomb. Just imagine being in that dessert searching for months and months digging in the harsh sun and finally opening that stone to reveal a small chamber filled from floor to ceiling with gold. Yes, gold e v e r y w h e r e. And he was just a boy king just think what a full-grown king owned. The world was ablaze with interest in these ancient kings and mysterious lands. It became such an influence on art deco with its geometric lines and bold use of gold.
When war broke out the luxury of Egypt fizzled but it wouldn’t stay away long – thank god for Elizabeth Taylor. The gal was paid $1,000,000 back in 1963 to play the titular role in ‘Cleopatra’. She changed outfits a measly 65 times during the film with one of them being a 24 carat gold cape that she wore channeling a goddess riding into Rome. Now that is luxury dahlings. She brought snake jewellery in, leopard print and that bold Egyptian eye. Granted she did give the role a definite ‘60s flare (I doubt the ancient lady would have worn half the gowns that Liz got to).
Not even to say anything of the real queen herself. When Mark Anthony came to call she promised him the most expensive dinner that history has known. When he arrived there was nothing but a simple glass of vinegar. She took off one of the pearls that drooped from her ear and dissolved it in the glass before drinking every drop. She offered him the other pearl but he refused saying that she had already won the bet.
Tina Turner maintained that she houses the spirit of Queen Hatshepsut herself. Claiming that she has memories from her royal years looking at the stars by the Nile. She even sang a song ‘I Might Have Been Queen’, although anyone who knows of Hatshepsut would know that she strapped a beard onto her face and declared herself king, refusing to be buried with the other Queens but a Pharaoh in her own right. Tina certainly has a little of that in her. Strong women who don’t kneel.
John Galliano once took a hot air balloon trip across the sands and saw reflected his vision for the 2004 Dior couture show. Oh honey I was entirely here for this. Golden goddesses slipping down the runway in everything Egypt had to offer from the rings of kohl traced around the model’s eyes to the lapis lazuli that coated them. Heads of animals and wall paintings had never werked so hard. It was a show. It was a spectacle. It was gorgeous.
Egypt was forever my world to escape into and Galliano brought it to the runway. With the definition of luxury up in the air I thought I’d ground it in its historical roots because it’s been 5,000 years and I am still fussing over them.