Beauty & Truth: Chapter I

16th September, 2013

In the ancient world, myths were used as a means to understand the inexplicable, as a way to make sense of the great wonders and mysteries of the earth and to give meaning to humanity. Inspired by the cycles of nature, the mythology of ancient Egypt still holds our imaginations in its sway today. Ancient Egyptians saw time in the present as a repetition of the linear events of their myths; to them, this mirroring served to renew maat (or mayet), the fundamental order of all existence.

Truth+Beauty1_2Myths were a way of passing down behavioral expectations, codes of conduct, and moral obligation. They were reminders that the actions we take today create the context for tomorrow. Today’s decisions are the gifts or curses we bestow upon our descendants. Truth+Beauty1_3Maat was the Egyptian concept of truth, balance, and order. Maat was also personified as the goddess of the stars; it was she who conducted cosmic harmony out of the chaos of creation, she who maintained the equilibrium of the universe ~ the setting of the sun, the rising of the tides. She was justice and she was reason. Truth+Beauty1_4Maat was the central principle of Egyptian cosmology and ethics, and so the primary duty of an Egyptian king was to be the champion of maat. All the daily rituals and sacrifices would be deemed meaningless unless the king and his people were living righteous, balanced lives. The word itself indicated ‘that which is real’, and so for the ancient Egyptians, maat came to imply anything that was true, genuine or harmonious. Truth+Beauty1_5 Truth+Beauty1_6An insistence on integrity, reality, honesty and harmony between nature and humanity is far too infrequently found in fashion today, when women are photoshopped into unrealistic androids and clothing is produced, shipped and consumed in such an irrational, irresponsible way ~ with little or no thought paid to the natural balance, the harmony of the universe. Occasionally, companies will pay lip service to these ideals, with ‘conscientious’ capsule collections that too often feel more like a ploy for press than a genuine intention toward reinvention. So much of the clothing created today is the sartorial equivalent of a Big Mac hamburger: mass-produced, meaningless, and guaranteed to engender regret. Truth+Beauty1_7 Truth+Beauty1_8One company, Maiyet, has set out to do better, and it isn’t a gimmick. Their name is taken from maat, the loftiest of ancient Egyptian tenets, and so too their business is built upon its principles. Maiyet is a pioneering new luxury brand that incorporates rare artisan skills from unexpected places throughout the world, with the goal of promoting sustainable employment in the corners of our earth that need it most. Truth+Beauty1_9Maiyet’s uniquely inspired, design-driven collection provides unparalleled patronage to artisans around the world, elevating the next generation of master craftsman from places like Columbia, India, Indonesia, Italy, Kenya, Mongolia and Peru. Committed to going beyond simply sourcing from these peoples, Maiyet deploys customized training programs that allow its international partners to create higher-quality, exceptional products, while simultaneously promoting stability and prosperity in their communities. Truth+Beauty1_10 Truth+Beauty1_11What sets them apart is the caliber of the design and the integrity in their processes. The collection is timeless, and deeply imbued with that too-rare human touch. You can feel the soul in the work. Indeed, Maiyet is genuinely committed to forging sustainable partnerships with artisans to promote self-sufficiency and entrepreneurship in developing economies. It’s a system based on respect: respect for the design, respect for the producers, and respect for the consumer. It’s unsettling to admit how extraordinary this really is. Truth+Beauty1_12As a curious, creative spirit, I considered many different artistic outlets as professional options. But I’ve made my career in fashion because I believe in the power and magic of clothing. Fashion allows us to define our own existence, to create a framework and outline for the sort of story we want to live out. It is truly transformational. Unfortunately, I’m constantly reminded of how myopic both I and fashion can also be. It’s about the self, to be sure, but it’s also an integral element of the bigger picture of culture and history, of technological and idealogical progress. Truth+Beauty1_13I’d like to believe that our generation will make better fashion than the last. Not just better looking clothes, but a better industry overall. I’d like to believe that we can bring back the idea of maat, that we will insist upon integrity, that we will seek out only what is beautiful and true. Truth+Beauty1_14 Truth+Beauty1_15And so, it is in that spirit that I invite you to take part in this week’s very special series. Our first chapter begins now, and from here I’d like to take a journey together, to a place of maat, to a world where real women are celebrated, where beauty only exists in truth. Story to be continued… Truth+Beauty1_16|BEAUTY + TRUTH| starring Kumi Sawyers, Sian Gordon and Heather Lilleston |PHOTOGRAPHY| by Jamie Beck for Ann Street Studio |WRITTEN + STYLED| by Kelly Framel |HAIR + MAKEUP| by Ana Sicat |ALL CLOTHES + ACCESSORIES| by Maiyet

  • Love! Can’t wait to read the next chapter Kelly! You have me transfixed. Love, Ann of Kremb de la Kremb


    great pics…i love the landscape…

  • These pictures are breathtaking!

    Mafalda ❤

  • Iliyana Licheva
  • Hildi Guiney

    Stunning and captivating!

  • Nico

    So breathtaking!

    Fashion Blog:

  • Amazing photos and everything!!! Love it!

  • Serene

    “So much of the clothing created today is the sartorial equivalent of a Big Mac hamburger: mass-produced, meaningless, and guaranteed to engender regret.”

    This is my favorite quote from the piece! It’s true! We spend far too much time and human resources with our aspiration all dressing. I know that the focus of your blog and business are luxury items and I can appreciate that. But most of us could never pay $500 for a beautiful silk tee shirt. The flip side to that is that spending mindless dollars at low price, mass produced stores selling cheap high end knock offs, is an unhealthy trap. Makes us feel like we can look expensive for cheap but with the environment and horrendous working conditions paying the bill.

    There must be a happy medium! The general consumer would do well to pony up a few more dollars for fewer, but better quality, ethically made clothes that will last for years, not months. But if a company would come along and provide a more affordable option with the same standard of ethics of your featured brand, well that would be HUGELY welcomed! Ultimately, I believe, we tell brands what we want by how and where we spend our money.

    Beautiful shoot! Photos like these are why I’m a loyal reader of The Glamourai!


  • Sabrina

    What a beautiful story with amazing photos! I can’t wait to read the next installment.

  • Diana Pimentel

    Just beautifull!!

    All the best

    Diana P

  • Beautiful photos! What an amazing backdrop. Thanks for sharing!

  • Beauty Follower

    Great photos,

    nice post!

  • Shopopal

    Stunning! Love the black & white pictures.

  • Kerri

    Beautifully written, beautifully styled, beautifully captured. And gorgeous ladies! xo

  • jjghaieh


  • Androbel

    Incredible message. I hope one day the fashion industry can become what it should be. not all about brands but about the whole meaning behind it. to communicate yourself with the world, to define, elaborate and create us.



    New post:


    This article and the accompanying photos were nutritious food for my stylish soul. So often I feel the split energy I have on only wanting to participate with companies and products that harm nothing and…………… wanting to have a satisfying wardrobe selection that works for my lighter budget. Getting creative and always determined. Thank you so much for this offering to help inspire and fuel my decisions.

  • Hope Varnedoe

    Stunning. Truly. Words and photos. Just stunning. This principle is one that is so important. I am eager to go on this journey with you.

  • Smart Dresser

    Beautiful! Can’t wait to know more.

  • Laura Medina

    Hello! Nice post and pics. And the story of Maat is amazing. I want to correct a word of your text that is wrong. The south-american country is called ColOmbia, not ColUmbia. The second one is a state from USA.

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TheGlamourai is a webzine produced by Kelly Framel, a multi-media creative director based in downtown New York (but constantly bouncing around the world). Part fashion blog, part glossy mag, part fantasy travel portal, it's your ultimate online destination for stylish daydreams. Tune in for inspirational editorials, beauty tutorials, outfit ideas, DIYs, jet-set travel tips and more!
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