Thrust into the throne at the age of 17, Cleopatra ruled Egypt from 51 BC – 30 BC as the last pharaoh of ancient Egypt. While her story and lifestyle still remain shrouded in mystery, the history, legends and questions surrounding the powerful queen still continue to captivate us.
Drawing inspiration from the legendary female pharaoh’s luxurious lifestyle, history books and the architecture of the palace Cleopatra lived in, Egyptian engineer-turned-designer Sara Hegazy’s collection showcased at the Tiffany Fashion Week 2014 is truly one of a kind.
The Dubai-based designer initially started off as a communications engineer before making the move into the world of fashion in 1996. After moving to Kuwait in 2007, she studied drawing and coloring techniques online before submitting her first designs to a local atelier, one of which was her own wedding gown. She turned down their job offer, but still recalls that moment as the motivation she needed to pursue fashion as a permanent career.
Heghazy went on to study fashion illustration at the Dubai International Art Center and fashion design at the London College of Fashion before starting her own unique line. Several fashion competitions later, Heghazy was named one of the top five designers at the Maybelline Cosmetics Fashion Competition in 2010.
Often inspired by her heritage, culture and history, Hegazy says her collections are given a more modern, avant-garde edge to create unique masterpieces unlike any other.
“For my first ever collection I was taking the best 15 flowers from all over the world as a source of inspiration,” said Hegazy. “My second collection was based on the icon Um Kulthoum, while the third collection was inspired by “The Girl with the White Pearl Earring,” which is a famous painting by Vermeer. I extract all the pastel colors to form my palette.”
Her dream goal, however, was to take her brand to each of the world’s fashion capitals and have them featured on the most coveted fashion runways.
After months of intensive research and preparations, her Egyptian-inspired collection was featured on the Parisian runway at the Tiffany Fashion Show 2014, a competition dedicated to showcasing rising global designers and runs parallel to Paris Fashion Week.
“It was a magical atmosphere in Paris during the Paris Fashion Week,” said Hegazy. “You are surrounded by so many people looking for new talent, loving the unique collections and encouraging the new generation of designers.”
Peppered with gleaming, custom-made Asfour crystals, the stunning collection included haute couture evening and wedding gowns inspired by Cleopatra’s luxurious lifestyle, power and beauty. From feminine and romantic to fierce and daring, her designs captivated fashion enthusiasts around the globe.
“As a powerful feminine icon, I fell in love with the powerful Queen Cleopatra. Not only was she a renowned queen of Egypt, she was also a mysterious royal,” said Hegazy. “One of her most famous quotes was, ‘I will not be triumphed over.’ She had a charismatic personality, was a born leader and an ambitious monarch. As one of the most unique, strong-willed queens of that era, every dress had to represent that unbreakable spirit.”
“Fashion is wearable inspiration. Couture is sewn imagination,” said Hegazy.