For the foreseeable future, we may all be advised to wear masks in situations where social distancing isn’t possible. And with that, it’s created a new subset for many Americans: the fashion mask.
We’ve already seen micro trends related to masks—namely the luxury designer mask or the perfectly matched mask and outfit. But while we all are (or at least should be) wearing masks, how does it feel to see something so associated with the loss and tragedy of the pandemic become part of ones fashion wardrobe? Below, four Vogue editors and writers give their thoughts on the rise of the fashion mask.
Sarah Spellings, fashion news editor: I’ve been thinking a lot about fashion masks, and how masks will fit into the fashion industry as they become such an important part of our wardrobes. For better or worse, that’s what it is: something we wear. So it’s not surprising that they’ve become a fashion statement—I’ve seen so many designers and celebrities showing off their masks which are very pretty. I wrote another guide to stylish masks, and I think anything that can be made beautiful should be. But it does make me feel a bit odd to talk about something medical as a fashion statement. What do y’all think?
Chioma Nnadi, fashion news director: Personally, I’ve leaned into it. I’ve found myself buying masks because they’re pretty, just like anything else. If the aim is to get people to wear masks, why not make them nice to look at? If I were a little kid for example, I would want something cute or nothing at all. I think we will soon think of them in the same way we do sunglasses. They’re not the first functional things in our wardrobes to have become fashionable.
Rickie De Sole, executive fashion director, vogue.com: I agree with that, Chioma. Much like sunglasses we need to try different styles to see what fits best. I think wearing masks is so new for all us, people are going to embrace them differently. They are practical but also make for a compelling reflection of our mood and personality.
Liana Satenstein, senior fashion writer: I like the concept of creativity and masks which shows that you don’t have to be walking around with a standard medical version the whole time. Personally, the matching mask with full sets kind of feels unsettling, though. Maybe this is only when I see a prominent figure wear it. There is just…so much thought put into it that it feels unsettling. Obviously this is all opinion. But then again, if you’re a politician or celebrity and want to present yourself and have to encourage mask-wearing, maybe the coordination aspect is necessary. That being said, I don’t mind the small business fancy masks of Lou Dallas and Collina Strada…it’s just the matchy-matchy thing that throws me off.
portions culled from vogue.com