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Check Mate: Laila Wahba's Unapologetically Conservative Woman

Check Mate: Laila Wahba's Unapologetically Conservative Woman

Laila Wahba's latest jewelry collection, dubbed "Check Mate", speaks for itself in a bold visual photographic series.

Working with Maison Pyramide, a Fashion Strategy house based in Cairo, their Fashion Director Ikon Chiba was able to put together a shoot that not only showcased Wahba's new style of simpler, classically infused and more refined pieces of jewelry but also embodied the concept of a conservative woman from a fresh and intriguing perspective.

The shoot is entirely monochrome sticking to tones of black, white and grey. Focusing on the stripped down and daunting facial expressions of model Salma Abu Deif , make-up by Rashad, as she dons Wahba's jewels while exuding confidence, grace and a quirky air of unapologetic edginess.

Wahba created this collection using high quality metals including brass, uniquely placed stones, 21k gold plating and a coin emblem that she designed herself from scratch. 

Looking back at Laila Wahba as a brand prior to this shoot, I saw beautiful jewelry but not enough brand presence, something was missing, a potent message perhaps? However, a combination of creative inputs from all the artists on this project, first and foremost Laila Wahba, makes this editorial honestly, super cool to look through.

Shot by Aisha Al Shabrawy, the woman being conveyed throughout this series is "conservative" in her own way. Unraveling the stigma that exists around this topic, the choice of composition puts her at center stage and in an obvious position of metaphorical and literal power. The jewelry acts as a statement of beauty and elegance, to emphasieze this message.

Fact: Ikon designed the headpieces spontaneously on set, her head dress is in fact inspired by the traditional veil and his muse for this entire series came from a Soviet film called "The Color of Pomegranate", featuring a conservative character who uses head pieces to showcase character.

I'll leave it at that. I hope you enjoyed looking through these visuals, at the end of the day art is always up for interpretation.

She wasn’t looking for a knight, she was looking for a sword.
— Attious
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