In the October 2017 issue, Vogue Arabia has a very unique and moving feature. Amina El Demirdash, one of Egypt’s brightest artists and the granddaughter of Princess Faika graced the pages of Vogue in a black peplum Elie Saab jumpsuit and, most importantly, Queen Nazli’s Van Cleef and Arpels necklace.
Amina was photographed by Julian Torres -who has photographed many celebrities including Catherine Deneuve- at the Hôtel de Crillon in Paris. The necklace is now a part of Van Cleef and Arpels’ estate collection along with several other pieces from the Egyptian royal family. The feature included a tribute by Amina to her ancestors, especially her great-aunt Princess Fawzia who passed away in 2013. In fact, Fawzia’s wedding was the reason her mother Queen Nazli commissioned this necklace along with its matching tiara.
Queen Nazli wearing the VCA necklace and tiara at one of Princess Fawzia’s wedding banquets
The necklace was sold in the renowned Sotheby’s sale of Queen Nazli’s jewelry in New York to an unknown buyer after she had gone bankrupt. The necklace resurfaced in 2015 after almost four decades in the dark at yet another Sotheby auction. The much-publicised auction saw the necklace being sold for 4,282,000 USD. Luckily the buyer was Van Cleef and Arpels which has featured the magnificent work of art in several exhibitions since acquiring it.
The necklace compromises of around 600 diamonds weighing almost 300 carats. The last known time Queen Nazli wore this parure was to her youngest daughter’s, Fathia, wedding in April 1950. Ironically, this wedding would eventually lead to Queen Nazli’s bankruptcy within two decades. The tiara has not been seen ever since the 1975 sale and whether it is still intact is unknown.
Queen Fathia’s wedding in Los Angeles in 1950
El Demirdash admitted that the life of her family before the revolution was “something of a jigsaw puzzle“. Her grandmother, Princess Faika married Fuad Sadek who upon their marriage received the title Bey (Equivalent to Earl in England) in a small ceremony at Abdeen Palace in 1950. Over 65 years later, Amina herself got married in a more lavish ceremony in Italy.
Amina, despite being at the heart of the art scene in Egypt, has rarely ever mentioned being a descendant of the former royal family. Her aristocratic beauty and serenity do serve as a reminder of the family that captivated the attention of the world with its members’ legendary beauty. Her artistic gift echoes her great uncle’s wife’s (Queen Farida) talent as a painter and Farida’s uncle the world-renowned Mahmoud Sa’id whose paintings have always captured her eyes. In one of the pictures of the feature, Amina wears Queen Nazli’s necklace with a simple Mugler dress and an Alexandre Vauthier blazer. A way that her great-grandmother would have never imagined her necklace to be worn. Breathing youthfulness into an almost century-old necklace while breathing in the legacy of a family that will not be forgotten anytime soon!
Amina El Demirdash wears Queen Nazli’s necklace!
To check out Amina El Demirdash’s art, visit her WEBSITE
Amina’s Elie Saab look:
The sweetheart neckline jumpsuit is no longer available but it retailed for $2,350
The matching belt is sold out in black but is available in burgundy on Moda Operandi for $825