source: crfashionbook.com, instyle.com, stylecaster.com/kate-middleton-mask/, www.vogue.com
Written By: BHAVYA JHA
What had the potential to hide our expressions has become one of the most widely adapted fashion statements and how! Yes, I’m referring to the non-medical face masks that are mandatory all across the globe now. When does fashion not have a silver lining, quite literally this time? Fashion to the rescue!
In the beginning months of the pandemic when the fashion shows were still unfolding as scheduled in Paris, the guests were greeted with black or white disposable face masks by a few design houses. They were elegantly presented of fancy trays, but for barely a few takers.
It was not long after that, when the institutional blue face masks flooded the public spaces and we had no idea how to adapt to the new normal. However, a shortage of medical masks for the health professionals and frontline workers sparked the need for change. Cities were beginning to reopen in mid-summer, and everyone was itching to wear their beautiful linens and flowy outfits for the very few occasions when we could actually step out. The only thing that absolutely didn’t fit in, fashion wise, were those light blue masks. Every fashionista’s nightmare!
On the other end of the spectrum, it seemed almost impossible to enforce something that hides the majority of our faces in a world where individualism was the norm, concealing our emotions and facial expressions. The foreseeable future entails masks being necessary and there had to be a way to make it more adaptable and fun. It is an absolute necessity, after all.
Coco Chanel once said that fashion reflects the world we live in and we can all vouch for it today. The styles of an era always embody the current socio-political milieu and face masks are no exceptions.
While the world was fighting a war in the form of a pandemic, the creative minds in the fashion industry were busy turning masks into a canvas to express yourself and completely revolutionize the emotions associated with them. Safety, but with an edge.
Step into a subway on a busy day, and you’ll be surprised to see the variety of masks being sported by different people, reflecting their personalities with every splash of colour, or twist of embroidery. While the material being breathable and comfortable was the major concern for those who had to wear it longer periods of time, others wanted.
Cotton and washable masks, layered masks with silk lining, scuba or sponge fabric masks, a whole new range was offered to the wearers. But what struck out the most was the way they were fabricated. There are sequins, beautiful embroideries and adornments, bright colours, fun patterns, classic prints or even quirky slogans that supported causes. Taking it a notch further, masks matching bridal outfits and even bikinis were introduced.
Choices, expression are gracefully adapting to the change and the need of the hour, the world of fashion has once again lived up to its core adjectives.
Don’t mind the mask honey. Express away!