Face masks – once the ubiquitous accessory for every KPop fan and a considerate gesture by a flu-sufferer for the people around them in East Asia is now a rather mainstream fashion statement.
The global COVID 19 pandemic has caused a surge in mask-couture. Many self-isolated creative souls across the globe are using the lockdown period to design the one that will take the world by a storm. Some are manufacturing masks in bulk to help out the health care sector and also to raise funds for the pandemic-casualties. (Others are busy with the Quarantine Pillow Challenge).
Designer Pallavi Mohan at her mask-manufacturing workshop.
At a time when the healthcare professionals and frontline workers hardly have enough N95 masks to go around, many apparels and luxury brands have announced to help by churning out medical and consumer-grade masks. Fashion has truly become 'essential' now.
"For now, what’s important is the compactness of the mask. We have sterilised it very well and the wiring around the nose is made with layers of various
knitted cotton fabrics that include different prints and cute bows that are also comfortable around the ears which are really important and these masks can be easily washed," says designer Pallavi Mohan, who's also producing masks under her label.
Life-saving but make it fashion
The runway has had its fair share of mask sightings with Chinese designer’s smog inspiration at China Fashion Week in 2014 to a recent showcase at the Paris Fashion Week and of course, Billie Eilish's Gucci mask at the Grammys.
However, the pandemic may have catapulted the mask into becoming a mass fashion statement as designers share printed, sequinned and various other variations.
Floral masks by designer Nitya Bajaj.
With government mandate deeming masks compulsory when you’re out and about, many are also trying out the DIY aspect of the mask. Naturally, there is also a slew of tutorials available on how to style your mask and the right skincare, makeup to go with it. Certain beauty ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and deeply moisturising products are sure to be the must-have among the mask-wearers. Since the eyes become the focal point, you can expect to see bolder eye makeup nudging out the over-lining lip trend.
As haute couture biggies such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Balenciaga, Saint Laurent to the mall brands such as Gap, Zara and even a few Etsy sellers race to produce face masks – new 2020 fashion trend emerges, one that can probably be life-saver unlike hitting the Juul, non?