Victoria & Albert Museum

 Jameel Prize 3 Victoria & Albert MuseumThe Victoria & Albert Museum is like your eccentric grandmother’s attic, or would be if your eccentric grandmother was Queen Victoria.  It houses one of the world’s finest collections of Islamic Art.  In tribute to that, every two years The Jameel Prize is given for contemporary art and design that is inspired by Islamic tradition.  I wandered quite unknowingly into the gallery devoted to the 10 short-list designers and was completely transfixed.

 Jameel Prize Arabic Fonts Pascal Zoghbi devises new Arabic fonts, creating modern designs without losing the tradition of this most calligraphic of languages.  His wall of fonts is created from collage of many pieces.  Arabic readers can probably understand what is up there.  For me it was an expression of beautiful design.

 Jameel Prize Calligraphy Nasser Al-SalemIn much the same vein, Nasser Al-Salem creates striking art using the calligraphy of Arabic in an intense design form.  These bold shapes create a design of great vibrancy.

Jameel Prize Collar NecklaceThe jewelry of Florie Salnot is produced by refugee women displaced into the Western Sahara.  Designed in the tradition of their native jewelry by Ms. Salnot, these pieces are called “Plastic Gold”, being transformations of plastic bottles and gold paint!!

 Plastic Bottle gold/redThe plastic bottle is painted gold before it is cut into a long coil using the ingenious razor apparatus above.  Nothing was said about the red inside being paint but I suspect it is.

Plastic bottle jewelryNext it is softened for shaping in hot sand, and…

 Jameel Prize jewelry necklaceVoila – in exceptionally skilled hands it becomes intricate woven jewelry!!  Designer Florie Salnot is also concerned with social issues as well as design, and she teaches the refugee women how to make this handsome jewelry.

Jameel Prize Dice Kayek DressesAnd the Jameel Prize 3 winner is!!!  Drum roll…. Dice Kayek for fashion inspired by the architecture of Istanbul. Think Hagia Sophia in silk.  Check-out a site about these intricately made fashions.

 Jameel Prize Dice Kayek Dice Kayek is the Paris-based fashion house of two Turkish sisters, Ece and Ayse Ege.  This is the first time fashion has won the 25,000 pound prize – that’s a little over $40,000 in the US.  Over 270 submissions for Jameel Prize 3 were received from around the globe.

 Jameel Prize Dice Kayek These intricate dresses looked effortless floating in their space in the Museum.  The prize described the fashion as vibrant and creative, Islamic tradition continues to thrive in architectural ideas to fashion.  Don’t you find the crossing of architecture and fashion fascinating?


About Susan

Susan Detjens is a former landscape painter, she lectures, demonstrates and runs workshops on floral design for museums, horticultural organizations and garden clubs across the US.
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3 Responses to Victoria & Albert Museum

  1. Alexandra says:

    Wow! How beautiful. I love the mechanics of the necklace and the architecture of the dresses. Excellent post!

  2. Carole Bailey says:

    You never fail to amaze me. Well done ! Carole

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