Look around the message is clear there’s no getting away from the mask! So, how about opting for a snazzy spin on the 2020s staple, as you step out adhering to the pandemic code? Fashion designers, influencers and entrepreneurs give us their take on turning a necessity into a fashion statement.
“Whether they’re printed or woven, denim or cotton, masks with a creative, handmade touch are trending. Many young women are opting for contrast styled masks. Nobody wants to overlook sustainable fashion at this time of crisis,” says Vikash Pacheriwal, co-founder, RAISIN A BRAND by Parvati Fabrics Limited, adding “Washable cotton masks are selling like hot cakes.”
Taking us through some options, fashion designer Brunda Gowda says, “Kalamkari print masks are a good choice, as they complement Indian wear.” Then, there are those who have come up with masks that flaunt quirky quotes, like ‘Dur reh’ (Keep your distance!), ‘If you’re reading this, you’re too close’ and ‘Quarantine and chill’.
Sheena Rawla, founder of Nam Maske, has some practical suggestions about making masks acceptable to children. “Batman-style ‘dog muzzle-type’ masks are trending,” she says.
Some have bands that fit across the back of the head while others are triangular scarves coming down from the nose to the chest, and tied at the nape of the neck,” she says. Sheena suggests involving the children in the choice of masks, in order to get them excited about the purchase.
While many are making a statement with the masks themselves, scores of young women are doing up their eyes as a means of drawing attention away from the masks.
Entrepreneur Namratha Hegde says, “To be honest, though I have been barefaced through the lockdown, I don a little mascara and eye shadow when I step out wearing the face mask which is now a must-have accessory.”
Thinking along similar lines, fashion and beauty influencer Aswathi Balakrishnan suggests that women do up their eyes to perk up their mood. “A nice dark stroke in electric blue, mauve or the classic black is all you need to create an impact without going overboard”, she says, adding that it’s important to remain sensitive to the current sombre situation. Dabbing on an under-eye cream to conceal baggy eyes would be a great idea, as the focus is largely going to be on the eyes,” she adds.
Beauty considerations apart, Namratha Hedge stresses the importance of prioritising comfort and safety while investing in masks. “I believe both men and women should consider dense fabrics while selecting masks, as they are more effective in preventing particles in the air from seeping through. Also, the mask should fit snugly over the face, covering the mouth and nose with no gaps,” she stresses.
Most importantly, one must adhere to the key mandate of the pandemic practice responsibility. In this respect, Mansi Gupta, founder and CEO, Tjori, has the last word.
“While quite a few of us have invested in making designer masks, the focus hasn’t just been on churning out attractive patterns that stand out, but rather on protective capabilities,” she says.
“I would suggest that all women choose designer masks wisely, making sure the purpose of the mask is served, rather than focussing merely on making a fashion statement.”