Beauty Queen

Channeling the most notorious woman on the Nile.

Be Epic.

It was the best date ever. At the height of her power and prowess, Cleopatra invited Mark Antony to dine, promising him she’d serve the most expensive dinner in all of history. She did not disappoint. (She never did.)

Gold was precious—the flesh of the gods, the fire and glory of the sun—but pearls, those were miracle stones; lustrous, rare and highly coveted. At the table Cleo produced the largest pearl in all of Egypt and blithely tossed it into her goblet. It vanished into the liquid in a haze of bubbles. The orb gone, she drank deeply; a very special cocktail that likely tasted of the sea.

It was pure magic and everyday chemistry. In the goblet was vinegar, which dissolves pearls.  In Mark Antony’s eyes, however, was the kind of affection that springs from awe-at both the beauty and pure balls of Cleo’s act.  There’s a little of that moxie in all things gloriously reminiscent of the Queen of the Nile’s cleverness and style-excessive and intensely luxurious, buffed gold against natural materials like turquoise and coral creating tension that you can feel in the weight of ancient-feeling layers, draped lazily over shoulders and neck.

Egyptian revival is like the cycles of the moon—always gorgeous and always on its way back around. Elizabeth Taylor played the part in the 1960s, in a film that brought down an entire film studio. King Tut made the rounds in the late 70s, sparking a countrywide obsession with cabochons and scarabs. The Bangles walked the walk in the 1980s, big hair floating above them like haloes.

We think that means the pieces in this most ancient of collections are just plain timeless, as well as elegant in an unexpected way we think not enough brave ladies embrace today. You should. When we wear Cleopatra, we wear her smarts, her wit and her brazen courage alongside stones and carved gold. And we take a little bit of her ability to rule a room with us.