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Posted on June 7, 2012 by Teresa Cannata'

Incorporating ancient traditions into modernity is one of the biggest and most exciting challenges of our times, especially in fashion. Almost everybody tries to find the right balance between old and new, but the results are – in most cases – disappointing: one of the two elements often ends up with getting the better of the other, and then the costumey effect is just around the corner.

An artist who has focused on this is the Parisian jewellery designer Shourouk Rhaiem, who started her career with the goal of giving a modern twist to the traditional Nabeul embroideries. Her Tunisian descent served as the ideal background. Her jewellery is beautifully made, but some pieces of her collections really stand out among the rest: they’re not only beautiful, but “speak” of a different time and place.

This tiara, for example, is a perfect union of old and new. The base structure of Ursula is a stiff band, decorated with Swarovski spikes, beaded elements and tassels. Far from being a simple headband, it’s a statement headpiece with a strong exotic vibe, the same which can be found in the incredible headpieces by Eugene Joseff worn by Greta Garbo as Mata Hari in the 1931 movie by George Fitzmaurice. The mysterious charm of faraway countries and of the past are still fresh, after all, only if you can make them live again through beauty, which is what Shourouk is so good at doing.