Monday May 27th, 2024
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Réham Yousri Pays Homage to Egyptian Art Through Jewellery

The hidden strings of Tally make all the difference in this Egyptian brand.

Layla Raik

Réham Yousri Pays Homage to Egyptian Art Through Jewellery

In the Arab world, a woman’s silver and gold are not only her accessories, they’re also her safety. Arab women, particularly Egyptian and Shami women, have long held their status as magpies, collecting jewellery in ostentatious boxes that often assume the role of their most prized possessions, hidden away under beds and in the backs of closets. But even beyond the jewel collections, Egyptian women have historically found resourceful ways to integrate their valuables into their fashion. For example, the embroidery of silver threads into their shawls, a traditional art known as ‘Tally’.

Egyptian jewellery label Réham Yousri is a meeting point between the two pristine arts - jewellery-making and Tally. As a young girl, Yousri’s intrinsic fondness for jewellery compelled her to customise and make small alterations to her jewellery. The various work she enjoyed doing with her hands - inspired by her grandmother Aïda, a creative and versatile artist herself - found itself concentrated towards jewellery.

After an accomplished career in aviation, Yousri circled right back to her jewellery-making. She took a brief intervention during which she dedicated her time to a rigorous yoga program, all the while meditating on the concepts she was fascinated by in the luxury magazines she read as a child. Shortly after, she spent two years studying jewellery design, equipping herself with the ability to finally pursue her lifelong dream.

“I think jewellery is a great means for self-expression. It can deliver a message, support a cause, tell a story, or even preserve heritages,” Yousri tells SceneStyled. “I believe in the power of jewellery. These necklaces and bracelets enable and empower the artisan women who preserve their cultural heritage. Réham Yousri Jewellery gives back to the community by spotlighting this hidden art and, most importantly, paying its artists fairly.”

While the purpose of Réham Yousri’s jewellery is versatile enough to be decided by the person wearing it, there certainly is a central mission to its first collection ‘Tally on Silver’. “I decided to launch the brand with ‘Tally on Silver’ to pay homage to and celebrate the art, introducing it to the people who’ve never heard of it,” Yousri says.

Egyptian Tally, an art that has been practised in Upper Egypt since the 19th century, is particularly unique in its patterns. The motifs differ drastically from the embroidery of other cultures in the region, portraying various aspects of life in Upper Egypt: weddings, religious beliefs, folk sayings, nature or daily-life objects. It was individually passed down from mother to daughter, and was often gifted to brides before the wedding.

The silverware of the collection is designed and handcrafted by Yousri, then sent to Geziret Shandawil, Sohag to be embroidered by the skilled women of the art to be embroidered with gold.

“Because of the nature of my inspiration, my jewellery can be seen as either an aesthetic pursuit or an eccentric statement piece,” Yousri says. “Regardless, it’s all about daring.”

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