A Queen in da Nile!

As a child I had an insane obsession for all things Egyptian. Something about the grandeur of their ancient civilization and all they built captivated me beyond compare. One figure in particular, from that incredible history, always fascinated me more than any other; Egypt’s last pharaoh, the final member of Egypt’s last dynasty (Ptolemaic), Cleopatra VII. 

I read book after book about the last queen of the Nile. Historical or fictional, I couldn’t get enough of her magical and yet tragic history. So those close to me, are not surprised at all by this choice of costume I’m sure. In the words of my cousin Marissa when she saw this costume, ‘living out your childhood dreams’. I would like to point out that I was Cleopatra once before, 25 years ago, at the age of 11. My grandmother had made my costume. This time around, however, I opted to pull a dress straight from THEHAUTEMAVEN by Norma Kamali. Her ‘goddess gown’ I felt would be perfect. You can purchase it HERE from the THM website!

All other pieces for this costume came straight from Amazon. 

Golden Snakes for Hair: HERE

Roman Sandals: HERE

Egyptian Collar Necklace: HERE

Snake Arm Bracelets: HERE

Well everything else, but my wild African kitty cat, Bandersnatch of course. Bander, as I call him for short, is an F1 Savannah Cat. His father was a full bred African Serval. So I decided to include him in my shoot based on one of my favorite paintings by Alexandre Cabanel entitled ‘Cleopatra Testing Poisons on Condemned Prisoners’ in which she has a cheetah. 

For my hairstyle, I admit I got a lot of push back from people close to me for not going with the iconic straight banged bob. Instead I opted to go with a more Ancient Roman/Greek style. Assuming what I have read is true, Cleopatra was the final pharaoh of a Greek descended dynasty called the Ptolemaic Dynasty.

Named after one of Alexander the Greats generals who took over Egypt after it was conquered by Alexander, the Ptolemy Dynasty served out the last period of dynastic rule over Egypt before falling to Octavian in 30BC. So I decided to go Roman and based my hair off yet another work of art. This time is was a sketch by Michelangelo. Albeit far after the demise of Egypt’s last queen, it does portray her in a more Roman style. So thank you kindly to my bestie Giana Martino, owner of Industry Salon in Red Bank, NJ for helping me create this look! 

Lastly, I called upon my amazing photographer Brandi Grooms, as always, with a little photoshop help from my Assistant Manager at THM, Kaira Guzman. Thank you to everyone who helped create this look!