Masks: Must today, mania tomorrow

 Masks: Must today, mania tomorrow

Garima Batra

With Covid-19 affecting us at the global level, the obligatory masks seem to be fast becoming our companions. And it is still a long way to separate them from our lives. Since they will cover half our face, fashion labels and enthusiasts have come up with hacks to accessorise our face with quirky face masks. They have now become an adornment and their designer avtaar is available aplenty in the market.

The fashion industry has turned the tables around. It has successfully and innovatively given the boring and plain surgical veils a swanky and glitzy transformation. Post, Mask Makeup, Mask fashion are the in-things now. The creators have perfectly combined safety with glamour. The apparel industry is producing masks of different designs — neon-coloured, patterned, sequined, textured, in different fabrics, organic ones, infused with natural products, based on themes and many more.

A global fashion trend, this new version of the masks will be used to enhance and bring us out creatively. At present, with the lockdown in place, people are just lazing around in their track pants and comfy pajamas. However, once this gets over, we anticipate everyone would want to come back with a bang. They will be willing to dress up again fashionably since they will get this opportunity after a long time.

To keep up with the trend and since the mask will be a part of our attires now; its stylish form will be preferred by people in large numbers. Apart from being in vogue, they even won’t burn a hole in the pocket. Since they are a requisite, people will choose in investing in their aesthetic version. They will add the much-needed glamour to our clothes, face, and overall personality.  Yves Saint Laurent aptly explained in her quote our relationship with fashion, which goes as, “I have always believed that fashion was not only to make women more beautiful but also to reassure them, give them confidence.” The labels are working to provide this trend for all customers irrespective of their gender, age, caste etc.

This will provide much-needed happiness and positivity to the people, which is essential to beat the pandemic stress and the anxiety building up inside us.  (The field of psychology states that colors evoke certain emotions inside us and have an impact on our moods and thoughts).  You can either match them with your clothes or opt for contrasting colors and patterns. The best part is that it’s not restricted to the females only. All the men out there, you too can make the most of this opportunity. Style your monochrome shirts or suits with the bright, funky masks or go for simple colored ones if you are unwilling to experiment.

Nainy Goyal, Founder, and Owner at Wheedle explained, “It’s been three years since I started my venture and this year we have a quirky demand from our clientele. They are placing bulk orders for matching masks with their Western and Indo-Western outfits. Some of them are even requesting custom-made masks having fun quotes embroidered on them like ‘live, laugh, love’ or ‘stay positive’. This shows an amazing amalgamation of fashion and awareness. It also shows that masks are here to stay, at least, for this year. While money is not an issue, they are willing to wait until the time we resume our work.  We have taken pre-orders for the same and are excited to create some modernistic fun masks  as soon as the workshops will be allowed to be re-opened by the government.’’

Many Indian and international designers have already started producing these masks. Designer Masaba Gupta some days back announced that she is launching MasKaba and that her team will be producing non-surgical washable and reusable masks; glimpses of her wacky designs are visible on her Instagram account. Anita Dongre too gave out a similar announcement of the creation of protective masks by her unit. Ritu Kumar has also joined the league and even donated some to NGOs and Gurgaon slums already. However, they all are producing these for charity purposes and haven’t yet started producing it for the commercial business.

Major international brands such as Prada, Armani, Gucci, Louis Vitton, H&M, Zara, Chanel just to name a few, are also producing medical overalls and masks. In February, Paris Fashion Week also showcased models wearing designer face masks.

Social media is bombarded with tutorials on DIY mask-making at home. The BCCI too has come up with a campaign where prominent cricketers have been featured in a video emphasising the importance of wearing masks and were seen carrying off the colourful variety. Virat Kohli appears first in the video, wearing one with letter ‘V’ inscribed on it and introduces the Team Mask Force. Sourav Ganguly appears next with DADA on it in white, perfectly contrasting with the black base of the mask. Harbhajan Singh’s mask has a turban on it. The clip features Smriti Mandhana, Rohit Sharma, Rahul Dravid and Mithali Raj. The video clip ends with Sachin Tendulkar wearing a mask with the number ‘10’. He is requesting everyone to follow the hygiene tips and self-create masks at home and be a part of Team Mask Force.  The aim was to emphasize the need and importance of masks.

One can refer to the Aarogya Setu app for the DIY mask tips. Bollywood star Vidya Balan took to Instagram and posted a video taking us through the procedure about how masks can be made at home using any old cloth or saree and rubber bands.

Sunny Leone’s kids also were seen pulling off colourful protective face covers recently. A few days ago, Bollywood actor, Anil Kapoor too was spotted wearing a red face mask. The pictures of President of Slovakia, Zuzana Caputova, wearing a face mask colour-coordinated with her dress garnered a lot of attention and went viral. Well, she sure does know to perfectly keep up with the fad and so should you.

The couture market has successfully found an opportunity in this crisis. What initially started as a charity activity is expected to be soon imbibed by the public as the new fashion trend. When this is a requirement, then, why not wear it the fun way? Let’s add some zing and color to our gloomy lives and moods right? Coco Chanel rightly explained Fashion, “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street. Fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.”


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