It’s been around for centuries but resurfacing on full this FW18 but also for SS19 . Part armour part transformative in these times of 21st century upheaval the fashion world transalates a need. Here are my favourites !But would you wear one ?
1. This past weekend Panamanian designer Daniela Arias for Marciscano showed at Panama Fashion Week her collection entitled Mestiza , based on her interpretation of the Latin American woman. As the models took to the catwalk in her beautiful evening wear each one carried a specially made woven animal shaman mask comenly used by the Emberá peoples; who used to use figures and visages in their healing and cleansing ceremonies.
2. In Paris for SS19 , Japanese designer Kinihiko Morinag at Anrealage created masks, or as one critic suggested face chandeliers which were pretty spectacular although maybe a little unwearable for a daily event . The designer who makes clothes that incorporate both the best in human artisanal work and the best technology that a machine can produce has always maintained that with each of his collections he tries to include a close relationship with the technology of our specific age
3. Currently a favourite of mine because of her upcycling approach, for this FW18 Marine Serré used her her signature crescent moon pattern, which has its roots in Islamic culture, on body tone balaclavas that covered the mouth. So many interpretation possible from sci-fi to gender neutrality to erotica .. a tranformation
4. At Gucci in Milan for FW18 the mask was a balaclava but the sort of scarier version, with printed faces and pompoms. Which reminded me not of a healthy ski trip but more of the powerful Heath Ledger joker more sinister. I am not who you think
5. Richard Quinn needs to be mentioned not because HRH the Queen was in the front row to present him with ‘Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design’, but rather that the collection was superb and the gimp mask which reflects his bondage theme signature was transformed into something soft and feminine just from the use of fabrics and print.
The Power of the Mask is a fascinating book curated by Walter Van Beirendonck (of the Antwerp Six), that has always been an inspiration to me. Van Beirendonck has been inspired by masks and headpieces and this book is definitely to have in your fashion library .