Why Don't You Channel ... Cleopatra?

by KATHERINE NEIFELD · October 28, 2010

Welcome back to Why Don't You Channel?, inserting a little sartorial schizophrenia into your look each week. By now, you've had a dose of good girl with Classicist, and a bit of bad boy with Bateman.  But with Halloween this Sunday, it's high time we go a little more outré.  Why don't you channel ... the one-and-only Queen of the Nile, Cleopatra?

Patron Saint: Elizabeth Taylor

Modern IncarnationElisa Sednaoui, Angelina Jolie

In your Closet: There are three keywords vital to fully comprehending this look: 1. Metallic, like this bronzed cocktail number from Robert Rodriguez. The one-shouldered silhouette is a preferable touch. 2. Draping. This Max Azria frock moves beautifully, as any nubile Nubian must. 3. Opulence. The most vital for last. Cleopatran opulence is on another level. So you'd be wise to infuse everything with a level of top tier grandeur heretofore unexplored, from your toothbrush to your Alaia-clad toes.

In your Jewel Box: The recent partnership between prep extraordinare Tory Burch and jeweler Kara Ross resulted in a stunning range of evil eye accessories made in your likeness. This cuff is the most you. Wear three at a time for the proper jangle.  A delicate Adina Reyter snake ring is also a must. And as for your signature bangles, Ippolita brought out a set of yellowest gold hammered darlings that live to adorn your wrists, and for the truly Queen-like, ankles too.

Beauty Regimen: Kohl, kohl, kohl; smudged within an inch of your life.  Sue Devitt makes the best pencil, but YSL is to be commended for their newest eyeliner, created to adorn the lid with the simplest swipe of hand. Especially in #3 Oriental Blue. Plus some NARS antique-y gold shimmer in Abyssinia dusted on top to really radiate.

And though the legendary C bathed in milk, should you hesitate to dip yourself in a vat of Half and Half, Archipelago Botanicals Soy Milk Lotion No.3. is just tootoo delicious on your hands after a trying day of Oracle consultation and Roman Empire devastation.

What to Sleep In: Egyptian cotton, naturally. These gold linens from Horchow allow for double channeling, as they're a perfect hue too.

What to Read + Watch: Pulitzer prize-winning authoress Stacy Schiff releases her biography of you this week. It's called Cleopatra: A Life.  But if it's all just hieroglyphics to you, there are a multitude of cinematic options at your disposal. Starring Gone With The Wind's Vivien Leigh, Caesar and Cleopatra is high camp, not to mention the elaborate Elizabeth Taylor epic which nearly bankrupted Fox. If you're hyper modern and prefer your Queen in 3-D, wait for James Cameron's adaptation of Schiff's tome, starring that woman dating Brad Pitt, released next autumn.

Signature Scent: Fracas or something equally musky potent. But when you're channeling Cleopatra, a dab on the neck and wrists is only the beginning of the olfactory. It is the stuff of legends that the seduction of erstwhile hero Marc Antony began with the perfumed sails of the Queen's boat.  Should you lack a barge of your own, any inanimate object belonging to you may be imbued with fragrance, thanks to this pungent black fig candle from Voluspa.

Where to Dine: When you're feeling serious, you lunch at the Met. You like the Petrie Court Cafe because it is Temple of Dendur-adjacent.  Being close to a sarcophagus is not only wonderfully nostalgic, but also aids your digestion. And when you're feeling playful, you make like any other pampered princessy brat and visit Serendipity.  Along with the quintessential frozen hot chocolate, there's an apertif created just for you: Cleopatra's Barge, comprised of potato skin boats filled to the brim with sour cream (yuck) and caviar (yum).

What to DrinkAbali Mint Yogurt Soda - a taste so tart and strange so as to be positively ancient. But a woman as intoxicating as you needs some intoxication of her own, and truth be told, you're a bit of a wino. You order Bodegas Campanillo Rioja by the bottle at Egyptian lair Casa la Femme in the West Village, as much for its ruby red coloring as its smoky scent.

On A Budget: A lady well-known for her predilection for snake jewels has come out with a budget line of her own. Try Rachel Zoe's Slinky Snake Cuff in rose gold.

The Cross Dress: With a little help from KanyeCleopatra for gents.

[Pictures (clockwise from above): Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra via Free Movies Online; Tory Burch + Kara Ross Cuff; Elisa Sednaoui via German Vogue.]