Memories are often acquainted with scents, colours, and events. For a lifetime, what she could remember from her long-gone childhood has managed to guide her. With technology and modern momentum taking over the world, her eye eternally remained loyal to what it saw years before.
Trends are momentary, but, fashion tends to move in continuous loops. Rather than surrendering to the tide, she chose to direct the wind – to return to her childhood. In time for the new season, Menna Khalil chose to close her eyes and recollect the her grandmother’s memories. Her newest collection is an ode to a woman, who has shaped her personality.
Composed of limited-edition pieces, Khalil’s Fall 2018/19 collection was forged encompassing the sense of nostalgia; a longing of her grandmother’s scent; mouth-watering cooking, and her voice as she narrated story after story about her favourite pieces of jewellery.
“You can neither go through your present nor plan for the future without acknowledging the importance of your past; the past shapes people. My family, especially my grandma, is an essential part of who I am today,” Khalil stated, adding “on another note, I am not quite a fan of today’s fashion. Therefore, I prefer to create my own style, which is often inspired from the past.”
Frequently known for tackling cultural topics inspired by iconic poets, painters, and philosophers – this collection is one of her most personal creations. This eloquent statement comes as a personal experience, and attempt to immortalise her grandmother. When Khalil was told by a supplier that some of her favourite stones can no longer be stocked, she decided to use her 12-year-old collection and create a love letter to days long gone.
The grand idea took almost a year to be executed. While flirting with the in the back of her mind, the designer invested the time in collecting materials and precious stones. Meanwhile, she had her eyes set on vintage-jewellery auctions.
When all the dots aligned in October, she started working on the pieces. In a matter of 37 days, Khalil was able to create 160 different designs distributed over 210 pieces. Instead of duplicating her designs, Khalil wanted to share her sense of intimacy with her clients. Accordingly, she gave her clients the utmost exclusivity in order to make them enjoy the possibility of actually wearing their grandmother’s jewellery.
“On average, designers work on 15 or 20 designs per collection. After 6 years of jewellery design and 13 collections, I wanted to fly away from the flock,” Khalil confessed, adding, “the real challenge was to create 160 designs and develop 210 pieces in a very short period. Actually, this collection was by far the biggest challenge I have ever faced.”
Fuelled with gold chains and vintage coins, the collection merges timeless aesthetics with the season’s top jewellery trends. Meanwhile, the designer’s personal style could be vividly seen in many pieces. According to Khalil, her grandmother cultivated an exceptional taste, often preferring vintage and authentic pieces. “She commonly wore statement jewellery, and yet, in her everyday life she was simple and elegant, and smelt like honeysuckle flower, one of my favourite floral scents,” remembered Khalil with a reminiscent smile.
With that said, the collection is inspired by various trends and historical, cultural and societal movements; from the 19th century to the 1990s. Meanwhile, it is not limited to a certain culture or country. “You will find pieces inspired by the Edwardian, Georgian, and Byzantine eras. From French aesthetics to Italian detailing; Pharaonic, Indian, Chinese, and Japanese personas are also present,” explained Khalil.
Accordingly, the collection caters to a large audience of diverse ages. Nevertheless, all the pieces aim to communicate personal messages that anyone can easily relate to. “Giving a chance to all my friends and customers to own pieces again from the past,” shared Khalil.
As her brand’s most skilled representative, Khalil always chooses to flaunt her jewellery. Her fingers are often an elaborate display of her most memorable designs. Meanwhile, she tends to stack her necklaces and bracelets in a mixture of admiration and pride. From this collection, the designer chose a retro English gold bracelet which she defines as delicate.
Meanwhile, her favourite pieces also include a real-pearl necklace and a stunning Swarovski brooch, which her grandmother used to regularly pin on her shawls. “I remember when she passed away, as my mother and aunts distributed her jewellery, I instantly asked for her Russian fur hat, pearl necklace, and this particular brooch,” Khalil declared then added “I have always loved how it could illuminate the entire room.”
Aside from her artistic venture into the past, Khalil also has a few other things lined up for the upcoming year. While she plans to start the year with an exotic trip to both refresh herself and get inspired, she is also focused on expanding her business. The designer already has a showroom and private workshop in the pipeline. Meanwhile, she plans to launch her website and restock the best sellers of her previous 13 collections.