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Exclusive: Kojak's Newest Shoot is Inspired by an Asylum and It's Crazy Beautiful

Perhaps we're actually going sane in a crazy world.

Trust Kojak to take take a controversial theme such as an outdated version of what insanity used to look like and romanticise it, give it an abstract twist, and use it as the artistic base for his latest collection's campaign shoot. "The inspiration for Dementia is mainly an asylum but the concept is an abstract reflection of what's going on in the world itself," the young designer explains of his new campaign, which features models fainting and being restrained (with haute panache of course).

Kojak takes the notion of a madhouse only as a microcosm of what he sees as a larger epidemic – the idea of those at the top keeping those at the bottom down for their own benefit – and he draws parallels between large scale oppression and that which could take place in smaller institutions. "Whether it's the government or the supervisors at a mental institution, these people have the upper hand and they can control you and they will never want you to get better so they can retain their position," he elaborates of the concept. "So this was somehow an abstract reflection of the whole over controlling thing, but not it's not just about control, it's also that these people are pushing to make you worse and are actively not helping you and supporting you." The entire ordeal, beautifully translated into a sartorial vernacular through the shoot, is very reminiscent of your worst nightmare - but in its most dreamy incarnation ever. 

The collection itself is the ultimate Victorian fantasy with plenty of high necks and oversized sleeved, embellishments, and laced-up elements. "The pieces are inspired mainly from a Victorian Gothic aesthetic, which you can see through the detailing, the lacing, the patterns, the volume, but it's definitely a modern take on it," Kojak explains.

Excuse us while we go swoon over the collection and possibly fetch our fainting couch.

Photography and art direction: Mohanad Kojak
Models: Tamima Hafez, Sohaila Kandil, Nariman El Bakry, Youssef Shemakh, Amira Cherif, Ali Sabh, Sophia Gobush
MUA: Nada Nasr
Hair: Elle Salons
Location: Dakhli, Downtown Cairo


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