January will mark three decades since the passing of the iconic Salvador Dalí, who died at the age of 84 in his birth place of Figueres, Spain. The artist’s long-standing legacy will never be forgotten thanks to his incredible body of work, much of which was inspired by his wife, Gala Dalí. Gala, who was born Elena Ivanovna Diakonova in Russia in 1894, served as not only as the artist’s love, but his muse.
She met Dalí in 1929 while married to the French poet Paul Éluard, and it was love at first sight. In his autobiography Secret Life, Dalí wrote: “She was destined to be my Gradiva, the one who moves forward, my victory, my wife.” Gradiva is a 1902 novel by W. Jensen, in which the main character was Sigmund Freud; Gradiva was the book’s heroine who psychologically cured the main character. By the end of the year, Gala and Dalí were living together, before tying the knot in 1934.
Over the course of their 53-year marriage, Gala would act as a model in some of Dali’s most celebrated works, including Imperial Monument to the Child-Woman, Gala; Memory of the Child-Woman; The Angelus of Gala; William Tell and Gradiva; The Discovery of America by Christopher Columbus; and many others. In the 1930s, he even started signing his work with his and her name as “it is mostly with your blood, Gala, that I paint my pictures.”
And it wasn’t just her husband whom Gala inspired. In fact, luxury Swiss jeweler Piaget created an entire timepiece dedicated to Dalí’s wife. Long before Doutzen Kroes was announced as the face of the brand’s Limelight Gala campaign last month, Gala acted as the muse behind its creation. First launched in 1973, the timepiece also pays homage to the relationship that Swiss brand shared with the surrealist artist (they previously collaborated on the Dali d’Or Private Collection).
Relaunched in 2017, Piaget’s Limelight Gala watch unfurls a glamorous femininity with its elegant curve of diamonds. It’s distinguishable from the way its rounded face is framed by two asymmetrical, elongated lugs, which are adorned by rows and rows of round, brilliant-cut diamonds. The remake of the vintage timepiece comes with multi-colored straps and in 18K white or rose gold, offering up a dose of high-wattage shine whenever you glance at your wrist.
Here, Tunisian–Syrian model Sheherazade Dakhlaoui shows off Piaget’s Limelight Gala in a series of surrealist, Salvadore Dalí-inspired portraits photographed by Marta Bevacqua for the October 2018 issue of Vogue Arabia.
Hair: Sebastien Le Corroller at Airport Agency
Makeup: Hugo Villard at Airport Agency
Photography assistant: Clementine Passet
Set Design: Claire Boreau at Nue Paris
Production: Open Space Paris
Model: Sheherazade Dakhlaoui at Oui Management
Style: Joana Dacheville