Is there ever a time when fashion doesn’t come first? I mean duh, whatever the situation is, a well-dressed person can take it all. In this case, a fully cute masked person can take it all. Pun intended. Hahaha.
But on a serious note though, As we adjust to living on new terms and cohabitate to the new normal, wearing masks have become essential. The time for second guesses has hopelessly passed by and covid19 has made sure that we all know that it is here to stay. While uncertainty does rein over our lives, fashion capitalists have found a silver lining.
Even though brands like Louis Vuitton, Prada, Brooks Brothers etc first started to repurpose a few parts of their factories to produce hospital gowns and masks, the memes and comments started airing. Misconceptions started floating everywhere but the truth, of course was that the masks that came from luxury labels were non-branded and made for front-line officials and workers and were not available for the general public. But as the misbelief started to gain attention, masks started tottering between medical desideratum and a fashion statement. This was when entrepreneurs, social media influencers and designers started smelling the opportunity.
Did you guys happen to notice that now, along with the latest covid19 updates, news flashes of companies introducing masks comes up. You’ll now see masks made of denim, tie and dye masks, masks made of silk or with reversible sequins. Most of us have heard that capitalist opportunities emerge from the time of trauma. The situation at hand right now suggests as an example. Many companies and brands have adopted the “buy one, give one” model in which every purchase of a mask, one mask would be given to a front-line worker or a part of each sale would go towards the covid19 related charity.
Infact the popularity of masks as a fashion statement has increased so much that you now see brides and grooms wearing masks matching to their wedding outfits for their intimate, DIY weddings. Okay, is it just me or are you guys also obsessing over these intimate covid19 weddings? But okay, that’s a topic for some other time. Coming back to the discussion at hand.Masks can even end up on the red carpet as “couture masks”. Christian Siriano infact said he has made “this fully encrusted pearl mask because I just needed a break.” This evolution is inevitable and also natural. It is the kind of human impulse that fashion stands to serve. As masks migrate into the world of fashion they transform into something else. Just like all the other accessories including shoes, bags, scarves etc, they become symbols of not just social concern or health but of identity. If you think about it, with the lower part of the face covered and eyes mostly covered by sunglasses, the usual features of an individual are covered. And that in turn means that masks eventually become a sign of achievement, aspiration and inequality.
Since there has been a lot of buzz and talk about how the epidemic could change consumer behaviour and the fashion system, who is to say that maybe this actually does become a place to start.