If there is a symbol of the current confusion and fear, the misinformation and anxiety, generated by the spread of the new coronavirus, it is the surgical face mask.
When history looks back on the pandemic of 2020, those white or baby blue rectangles that hide the mouth and nose, turning everyone into a muzzled pelican, will be what we see. “Masks will become a fashion statement.
Not just because of this particular virus, but awareness about pollution and environmental changes will lead to an increased usage of these masks. The idea of a masquerade was always considered niche and elite.
Masks have always been an important tool of story telling in plays and other forms of entertainment,” shares designer Riddhi Jain.
As the coronavirus outbreak sweeps across the world, it’s proven that nobody is immune to infection and stars too are amping up their efforts to protect themselves from it.
Celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Hudson, Selena Gomez, and Bella Hadid have posted pictures on social media of themselves taking precautions against contracting the virus by sporting face masks.
“Many high-end brands have launched face masks with their signature prints, different styles and colour options, but nothing beats what Folu Storm sported,” states Riddhi. Storm and other Nigerian celebrities had turned up at a glitzy award ceremony wearing jewelled face masks amidst the pandemic.
Some are taking things to an extreme level - including supermodel Naomi Campbell, who arrived at the airport in a hazmat suit. Many B-Town celebs were spotted and snapped at public places sporting protective masks. Right from Ranbir Kapoor to Parineeti Chopra, actors wore masks in public places.
“Sunny Leone was also seen wearing a beautiful bright yellow mask with cute eye motifs over it. Having talked about fashion, it is important that you understand the appropriate selection of masks which is way more important than style,” explains Meenakshi Singh Baghel, director and founder at House of Ameya.
Panicking about coronavirus doesn’t have to stop you from having fun with your style because why wear a plain old medical mask when you can get a steampunk inspired one or a mask to make you look like a cat? Influencers already proved that by sharing make-up tutorials to go with your face masks.
“If you have options, then go for vibrant or pastel hues, so that wearing a mask is not wearisome for you. You can also try intricate prints or polka dots that will look more appealing than solid ones,” recommends Meenakshi. The trend is all over the internet from embellished masks, to masks made of lace.
Besides masks, one can also buy interesting gloves for an additional styling that may vary in colours. “Couples and friends can go for twinning to stand out,” suggests Meenakshi. “Keep it simple. Let the masks be the statement pieces,” advises Riddhi.
“Making some fun DIY masks and dressing it up with accessories is not a bad idea at this time as most are home bound now and can utilise the time having fun with the masks,” opines designer Hema Kaul.
The dos and don’ts
First things first, it is crucial for both men and women to go for safety first rather than fashion. Masks exist to protect us from infection and wearing the right mask is more important than trying to be in fashion with the masks.
“I would suggest that one should buy three to four different colours or patterns that you can match with various outfits,” points out Meenakshi. One should carefully choose the fabric that needs to be soft and skin friendly if you want to stay away from rashes and marks.
“One can wear a scarf that can be in contrast or similar style to provide a strong base for mask to get highlighted,” adds Meenakshi. Moreover, no compromise with safety, thus wear a mask that is actually resilient enough to protect you.
Riddhi says, “Don’t overdo it but definitely stand out. Taking care of these masks is equally important, so remember to sanitise it after every use. Also wear long lasting waterproof make-up.”