The launch of the Nejla Bint Asem collaboration with jewellery mogul Damas at the Rotana hotel was as expected, sophisticated, organized and prompt.As I rush into the hotel lobby 15 minutes late, I see the gentlemen in their grey suits, you know the ones.The Royal guards in menswear, always courteous and unimposing.Quietly going about their business of protecting our Royal family.As I pass them, I nod, an acknowledgment of their service, and I say to myself, if the Royal Family can be on time, why can’t I ? In true Hashemite fashion a generous number of Royal Family members are in attendance, a show of support to Her Royal Highness Princess Nejla bint Asem.
A quick look at the collection which launched originally at Damas stores in Dubai this March, and you come to realize that you need a closer look.The intricate 16 piece collection of statement earrings and necklaces seems multi-layered in its message and come to think of it, it’s a lot like the Princess herself.
At first glance the collection of gold, turquoise, coral and diamond pieces bring back feelings of nostalgia.Her Royal Highness has taken us back in time to our heritage, the modern spin on the traditional makes its appeal instant. We all want to hold onto our heritage while still move forward in the world.An uncanny similarity to the Royal Family themselves, steeped in tradition yet thoroughly forward-thinking.
As I continue to browse the collection the next feeling I get is one of harmony, a synergy between both cultures East and West. How difficult a balance this is to achieve, in our world of extremes, taking the best of each culture is impressive.
I have the opportunity to ask Her Royal Highness about a particular piece, what she had to say added a third dimension to the jewelry line. Of the circular pendant on a turquoise chain she describes a floral design with the word ‘hob’ (love in Arabic) calligraphically inscribed on the outer edges.She continues that from a bird’s eye view, the circular shape is actually inspired by a dervish’s twirling skirt, and of course the iconic Rumi, her favorite poet.
Perhaps the harmony I feel can also be attributed to the spirituality of Islam, it is powerful yet gentle. She acknowledges the fact that her pieces although made of simple materials are bold statements of design. When asked about her inspiration, Princess Nejla shares,
I drew my inspiration from my days as a child walking through Downtown Amman and romanticising about the semi-precious stones in the shops. Influenced by everything surrounding me, I grew up in an Arab and oriental environment which helped me pave the way for designing jewellery. In this line you’ll be able to see how I explore the artistic and cultural history of different countries, creating pieces that bring the perfect harmony between the East and West.
A jeweller in her own right, Her Royal Highness has been quietly designing pieces for a few years now, this collaboration with Damas has catapulted her into the limelight, a place a little out of her comfort zone.Like all un-comfort zones, this will take her work to the next level. We wish her the very best of luck. To browse the complete collection of Nejla Bint Asem for Damas, click here.
Damas has given me a platform to showcase my creations to the world and I’m very grateful for that…In this most recent line, you’ll be able to see how I explore the artistic and cultural history of different countries, creating pieces that bring the perfect harmony between the East and West. Each handcrafted piece is a manifestation of the abstract yet somehow realistic life we are living in, each with a tale of its own from our history.