Unmasking Creativity

Face masks are not new commodities. Most countries in Asia have spearheaded their use even before the explosive drop of COVID-19. They have been using them as protective measures against the rising contamination of pollution and air-borne diseases. Now, as the battle continues to eliminate COVID 19, face masks are more crucial than ever and have become a necessary part of our daily lives.

Fashion designers from all over the world have designed their versions of face masks. Multiple fashion brands have willingly opened their production to manufacture them, not only as a response to its urgent need, but also to resuscitate the fantasy that fashion has always offered. Undeniably, the superficiality of beauty that we have all grown accustomed to, has intendedly been pushed back during this pandemic. Without the physical world as a platform to express one’s self, there is no need for fashion per se. However, these fashion designers, who refuse to drown in their couches crying for normalcy, have taken the circumstances onto their own hands and fueled themselves to create, adapt, and keep up with the times. They have imbued creativity in this crucial transition by answering urgency and embracing “the new normal”.

Filipino fashion brands, HA.MU, Randolf, Proudrace, , and Kelvin Morales, are among the fashion designers who have adapted to the shifting times and valued the need to expressively create, designing masks in comical egg embellishments, Grace Coddington prints, care label tags, and moth embroidery.

International fashion designers, Akese Stylines, Helmstedt, and Collina Strada also jumped into the sartorial bandwagon with matching mask and turban pairs, elaborately printed designs in silk cotton, and exaggerated bow embellishments on masks.

Fashion designer, Melitta Baumeister, did a more subdued version emphasizing form through the detachable snap-on in her design. Maryam Keyhani also pivoted on structure with her ruffled masks, perfectly pairing them with her dumpling hat. Even the unexpected can still come about from this pandemic. Shoe brand, QBYQS, designed a tailored mask inspired by their shoe designs fit for the dapper men in the world.  

Ultimately despite the varying design styles that these designers offer, the commonality that adjoins their brands is their prerogative to lend their talents for a common good. All of these designers/brands: Randolf, Proudrace, HA.MU, Kelvin Morales, Akese Stylines, Helmstedt, Collina Strada, Melitta Baumeister, Maryam Keyhani, and QBYQS, came together as individuals to help the fashion industry, frontliners, and the masses. The face masks they designed leaped over its essentiality, purpose, and superficiality as an accessory, but metaphorically symbolized hope and showed the humanity that we all have.

There is no certainty when our lives will go back to the way it was. It may never will, but the lifestyle we are living now might be the new life we need to be used to. There is no need to mourn in sorrow. Fashion friends, and design enthusiasts alike, in these trying times we need to be more inspired and motivated to instigate change. The new normal might not be the future we dreamt it to be, but it is the future we have to face. Gear up, put on those face masks, and let’s fight this global crisis with courage and creativity! 

Cover Photo credits:
Photo by Randolf Clothing on Instagram

Jegs Santos is an engineer by profession whose wide interest in fashion, interiors, and design lead him to take a detour in life to follow his passion. He is currently an interior design student at the Philippine School of Interior Design, juggling it with work, both as a freelancer and a Senior editor for ACIIID. Outside work, you’ll find him out and about, looking for inspiration, nourishing his knowledge and conceiving fresh new ideas to inject into his work. Clearly, his life is fueled by his job.

ACIIID is your digital platform for trends, news, and inspirations on design, fashion, arts, & a whole lot more.

More Stories
Hope Series: Philippines