TEMRAZA'S POWERFUL MESSAGE BEHIND NYFW "THE RISE OF THE PHARAOHS" COLLECTION

 Farida Temraz, CEO and Designer of Fashion Label TEMRAZA

Photography by Danni Siminerio

During NYFW, I met with Egyptian fashion designer Farida Temraz, who took New York City by storm with her latest collection, "The Rise of the Pharaohs". Her unique and bedazzled collection headlined in some major publications such as, Fashion Week Online.  

I sat with Farida Temraz to learn more about her journey in creating her latest collection "The Rise of the Pharaohs" and how she felt about debuting it in one of the biggest fashion capitals; New York City. 

How would you describe your "The Rise of the Pharaohs" collection?

"The Rise of the Pharaohs" is inspired by the beauty and essence of the Ancient Egyptians. However, I wanted to focus on more than that, I wanted to show the world that there's more to the Egyptian culture than just the country's enriched and deeply rooted past. There is also modernization, fashion, style and authenticity. Some great Pharaohs such as, Nefirtiti and Cleopatra symbolize power, femininity and beauty. These characteristics highlighted another essence of the collection; women empowerment. 

What inspired the collection?

My inspiration of the Pharaohs influenced the colors used in the collection, not as much as the designs themselves. I used green, gold, white and red, which were the colors that symbolized Ancient Egypt. There were lots of details and texture used with these colors, especially with gold. 

What was the fabrication used in this collection?

I focused on using plain fabrics and adorning them with many different materials and embellishments. You'll find taffeta, organza and textured-like fabrics, as well as lots of embroidery and pleating. 

How did it feel debuting TEMRAZA during New York Fashion Week?

This was my first time debuting a collection during New York Fashion Week. I mean New York is the city of style and fame and out of all places I'm glad I debuted "The Rise of the Pharaohs" collection here. It's definitely an achievement and I'm proud of it. On a side note, TEMRAZA has debuted collections during Los Angeles, London and Paris fashion weeks. Not to mention winning a first place award in a competition among fifteen other talented designers during Paris Fashion Week. But, nothing compares to New York City, I love how it cherishes creativity, the constant inspiration and the fast pace environment. Compared to the other fashion weeks, I got the most responsive feedback. However, there's more to come. 

What makes this collection so special?

Every collection I design is very special to me. It'll always hold a part in me and will always have a story to tell. What's really special about "The Rise of the Pharaohs" collection is that it's inspired by the Egyptian culture and Egypt is home to TEMRAZA, it's where it all started.

What's the most special piece of the collection? Why?

The most special piece of the collection is the finale because it's a combo of several different fabrics sewn together. I believe this look is a trend setter, as it can be worn in multiple ways. It brought a new idea into bridal wear. It can be worn during the religious part of the wedding, as well as the reception afterwards. I used lots of fringe, which is what I love the most about it. It's off shoulder, high neck and flatters the body, especially with it's new and appealing color.  

Make sure to check out "The Rise of the Pharaohs" collection. Below are a few photos of Farida herself, as well as her latest feature in L.A Magazine. 

Photography by Dimitry Loiseau

I absolutely love this TEMRAZA blazer modeled by the designer herself. Maybe a new collection? Well, I might just steal it from her wardrobe and call it a day ;)

Photography by Danni Siminerio

Photography by Danni Siminerio

Photography by Danni Siminerio

Photography by Danni Siminerio

Photography by Danni Siminerio

Photography by Danni Siminerio

Photography by Danni Siminerio

Posted on October 12, 2016 and filed under Inspiration.

AN INTERVIEW WITH AZZA FAHMY

Azza Fahmy, chairwoman and creative director

Calling all jewelry designers... This one's for you! Everyone across Egypt has heard of the name Azza Fahmy. She's a true inspiration to many and definitely one for me. When I got the opportunity to be able to interview her, I was ecstatic. I wanted to learn more about Azza Fahmy Jewellery. The way she portrays culture with her fine metal and precious stones is truly a work of art. The best part about the interview is that I saw the passion and drive she still holds and the love she has for Azza Fahmy Jewellery.

In the last few years, the jewelry and fashion industry have become extremely competitive. What is some advice you would give to upcoming designers starting their own line?

The most important thing is to always present a new idea, which is probably the hardest thing to do in our industry. You have to always be yourself and introduce something new. Creating these new ideas require hard work and dedication. 

If a jewelry designer decides to expand internationally. What is the first step he/she should take?

The designer should study and understand that specific market very well. Each market will have it's own needs, and it's the duty of the designer to understand and analyze them. When Azza Fahmy Jewellery  went international, the whole team sat down and analyzed the market we wanted to go into well. As well, we had a consultancy in Europe that was guiding us in the right direction. We wanted to see what that specific market needed from Azza Fahmy Jewellery  and vice versa. When I dealt with designers in England, we all benefited from each other. They wanted to benefit from the market I have a great name in, and I wanted to learn something new about their market. 

What are some important qualities a jewelry designer should have?

A jewelry designer should be creative and to always introduce new ideas. The hardest part about being a designer is having the skills to create something new.   

During the mid seventies in Egypt it definitely wasn't easy starting your own journey in the jewelry industry, especially for a woman. How did you manage to break the stereotypical rules?

Once you're convinced with what you're doing, then no one can stop you. It definitely wasn't easy, but once people can sense the passion in your work, then they will always help. Probably, the weirdest and most unique thing was that I was a woman. I was one of the first women in Egypt that started something like this. Of course, it was strange for my family. It wasn't a field that was looked upon once you were finished with college. They didn't understand what I would become. However, no one judged me, actually people pushed me and wanted my products to succeed. There was always room for success.

What was the greatest challenge you faced in creating Azza Fahmy Jewellery ?

When I first set out, I did not find any schools in Cairo which could have helped me develop my technique. My mind had become so much more advanced than my technique and I needed to learn. I was then offered a grant from the British Council to learn at the London Polytechnic.

Another challenge I faced was when I needed to adapt from a small scale operation- a one woman show-to a structured business. The transition from a workshop to an institution needed to be made. This was when my craft shifted into becoming an industry and a full-on business. I soon recognized and trusted that with the right team and the right skills, I could reach my ambitions.

However, the biggest challenge of them all was balancing between a career and raising a family. There weren’t any good or proper day care centers or facilities that could take care of children while the woman is doing her job. So, in the end the woman is forced to stay at home for three to four years taking care of her children. This makes it extremely hard to focus on a career. 

How was it working with skilled workers in Khan Khalili? Do you recommend all Egyptian jewelry designers to start there?

It was a great experience. I learnt the basics of the craft at a time where there were no local institutions that could help me develop my skills or passion. I was lucky enough to be granted a scholarship by the British Council at the time to study at the London Polytechnic where I was able to expand my horizons and creativity. Nowadays, aspiring jewelry designers can benefit from several local and regional institutions which offer design majors. In Egypt, they can join our school, The Design Studio by Azza Fahmy in collaboration with Alchimia, Contemporary Design School of Florence, Italy, where they can compete on an international level.

Traditional culture and calligraphy has always been Azza Fahmy's trademark. However, the new collection is quite different. What inspired this collection? And why the change?

Yes. So, for Spring/Summer lines, we work work with trendsetters in Europe that help us figure out a path or theme that would coincide with global trends. Nature was one of the those trends which we selected a couple of years back as we designed this collection and decided that it would be the main inspiration. While we’re always on the lookout for the latest trends, you’ll always spot the Azza Fahmy Jewellery DNA and design philosophy in the way we present or get inspired by those trends.

Like the fashion industry, there are definitely upcoming trends in the jewelry industry as well. What are the steps in your creative process that would incorporate these trends in an upcoming collection?

The first step is to start working with our trendsetters and research team with whom we brainstorm about different upcoming themes. All of these trends are constantly around us. For example, they take a look at the spirituality movement, which has been a huge influence on several industries, including the Fashion industry. We get inspired by buildings, movies, fashion, colors and fabrics, which eventually develop into an inspirational board for the upcoming collection. Then, we start sketching out ideas and creating models until we reach to our final piece.

How did Azza Fahmy evolve since it first started?

Azza Fahmy is constantly evolving. We are always working on ourselves. We constantly come up with new ideas, research upcoming technology and stay on the lookout for trends.

What inspires Azza Fahmy?

Culture. It's always been about culture and the depth of it. When referencing a culture in our collections, we always dig deep into its inspirations and meanings through a long research process. Traveling really does help, and I've definitely traveled a lot and it really does inspire me. I always make it a point to visit as many museums and cultural exhibitions as I can during my trips. Aspiring designers today can also make use of books, credible online resources and industry portals that can help them with their research process to learn about different cultures. 

Below are some images of Azza Fahmy's latest collection.

A love message paved on 18kt gold T-Lock necklace adorned with 0.94 ct diamonds. Inscribed: "Love joined us, who would part us". 

A one of a kind 18kt gold and sterling silver locket watch necklace.

Applying our hand honored piercing technique in the making of our masterpiece 'Hoopoe Collar'.

Filigree- one of the most sophisticated and ancient techniques applied in our workshop entailing lace-like wire work, used to create protective amulets.

Inspired by a Degas painting in the MET museum in NYC. Designer Amina Ghali was inspired to create a butterfly that was entirely made of nature.

Locket necklace adorned with Sapphire and filigree. Inscribed: "For compassion and fulfillment".

Nature inspired 18kt gold and sterling silver Hoopoe collar adorned with pearls and diamonds.

This 18kt gold and silver Victorian ring is designed around a 50cat Amethyst stone, with an Ottoman influence of the star of moon adorned with 0.47ct pave' Diamonds.

Are you a jewelry designer? Do you have an unanswered question? Comment below and I'll be happy to help. xxx

 

Posted on August 30, 2016 and filed under Inspiration.

FAIRY TALE FASHION

Fairy Tale Fashion at the FIT Exhibition is nothing but enchanting. Everything about it is very inspiring and reminds us of the fairy tales we love the most. My favorite were definitely Snow White, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. The exhibition examines garments and accessories from the 18th century to the present, while showing off remarkable designers' from around the world. Fairy tales have a long history with fashion, arts and photography and entertainment. This was by far one of the best exhibitions I've ever gone to. The garments and accessories were beautiful. It was like seeing all my fairy tales coming to life, or at least the fashion did. 

Below are some of my favorite looks from some of my favorite fairy tales. 

SNOW WHITE

Image One: Alice + Olivia Dress, Fall 2014, Image Three: Dolce & Gabbana Evening Gown, 2012

THE WIZARD OF OZ

Christian Louboutin Lady Linch Stilettos, Fall 2009

LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD

Image Two: Altuzarra Embellished Cloak Dress, Fall 2010

THE LITTLE MERMAID

Image One: Norman Norrell Sequined 'Mermaid' Evening Gown, circa 1972 (Left), Rodarte Dress, Spring 2015 (Middle), Jean Louis Sabaji Evening Gown, Spring 2013 (Right)

SLEEPING BEAUTY

Image One: Dolce and Gabbana Dress and Hood, Fall 2014 (Left), Image Two: Marchesa Gown, Spring 2012, Zuhair Murad Gown, Spring 2015 Haute Couture

LOVE LOVE LOVE that Dolce and Gabbana dress and hood.. Makes me want to be Sleeping Beauty! AND Zuhair Murad... Nothing can go wrong with him. 

CINDERELLA

Image One: Noritaka Tatehana Glass Slipper, 2014, Image Two: Christian Louboutin Cinderella Shoes, 2012

Those Cinderella shoes make me want to own a glass slipper ASAP!

RAPUNZEL

Alexander McQueen Evening Gown, Fall 2007

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

Christian Louboutin, Pumps, Fall 2011

ALICE IN WONDERLAND

Image Two: Hideki Seo Heart, 2014

I highly recommend any fashion and fairy tale lover to visit this exhibition. 

Let me know which look was your favorite. xxx