With black and white portraits hanging from the ceiling and dramatic pieces laid out on white tables, a new generation of local jewellery designers showcased a glimpse of their aesthetics. While each piece captured the stories of Egypt’s next top jewellery designers, the collective collection widened the boundaries of design.
The Design Studio by Azza Fahmy celebrated the graduation of their very first students as well as the work of a new talented batch with an artistic exhibition. The studio chose the cultural hub at Galleria 40 mall in Sheikh Zayed to introduce the work of their pride to an audience of fashion and design enthusiasts.
The showcased pieces varied between architectural inspiration and ethereal stories of long-gone women. “Captured” is without a doubt one of the studio’s most cohesive exhibitions to date.
“My inspiration was goddess Isis; it is all about her wings and the curves of her body,” said Gehan Felfel, beginner designer at The Design Studio. My project aims to bring her into our modern lives, so if she were with us today these are the kinds of shoes, earrings, and bracelets she would choose.”
Felfel introduced a new concept to the yearly exhibition with her bespoke pair of shoes, as she is the very first student to apply to footwear what she had learnt at the studio. “Shoes and jewellery are my main passion. Accordingly, I wanted to combine the two in one project,” said Felfel.
The promising designer has already studied fashion in London; nonetheless, she has joined the studio for intensive information about the craft of jewellery making.
“I went to London Fashion College to study shoe designing and pattern making. However, the jewellery industry in Egypt is well established. Furthermore, The Design Studio by Azza Fahmy gives the students an opportunity to learn so much and for as long as each individual needs,” said Felfel.
Furthermore, Felfel is currently working on her collection, set to be launched by mid-March.
With that said, specialised designers, who have been regular students at The Design Studio for a longer period of time, have also came back to, once again, equally amaze the audience and faculty with their new concepts.
“During the summer, I was taking part in a contest in Legnica. My concept was about the city’s architecture. I used to analyse each city into cells and units. Accordingly, I approached the city’s architecture as a human body then I used the units as materials,” said Adam Yousry, specialised designer at The Design Studio.
“The co-founder of Alchemya School suggested that I source my materials from a hardware store. My main materials are nails, bolts, and jump rings,” said Yousry.
According to Yousry, the local market might not easily embrace his collection, which successfully turned nails into loop necklaces and bolts into bracelets. Accordingly, he is currently planning to collaborate with a foreign fashion designer to reach out to a bigger audience.
After a few semesters, The Design Studio is finally celebrating a new generation of specialised students who now serve as teachers for newer batches. Furthermore, as of recently, the design studio’s teaching staff also includes a graduate of the school itself.
“I am the first graduate from The Design Studio; I have finished six semesters in three years. Meanwhile, I am currently teaching the new batch,” said Amira Ayad, specialised designer at The Design Studio.
As for Ayad’s end-of-semester collection, the promising designer aimed to create a rustic collection reminiscent of neglected monuments.
“I was inspired by the Egyptian Museum. The broken statues and the antiquities scattered at the door got my attention. Therefore, my concept started developing from that scene until it became mainly about restoration,” said Ayad.
Her pieces depended on vintage materials mixed with burnt metal and old wood. Meanwhile, the end result was both statement and artistic. “My main problem is that I tend to follow an avant-garde genre; many people often fail to know how to wear my pieces. However, sales and market preferences are creatively limiting. Therefore, I would rather implement my designs and then simplify them when I want to sell,” said Ayad.
The designer is currently a member of The Design Studio’s teaching staff as she is fond of teaching and being part of the studio’s mission to establish a strong generation of jewellery designers. Meanwhile, she aims to manage her own line in the near future.
“The first thing that I make sure to teach my students is that there is no such thing as absolute right or absolute wrong. Sometimes, I do not give them the direct methods and solutions, because they end up finding better alternatives than what I know,” said Ayad.