Face Masks and Runway Fashion: Can Face Masks Be Haute Fashion?

In the age of coronavirus, protective face masks have become an essential part of our daily routines. No matter where we go, we always have to make sure we have our masks on as a precaution, but can this necessary addition make its way to the runways? The answer is yes. Many designers at this year’s Paris Fashion Week decided to feature this idea. In the spirit of 2020, face masks were seen anywhere and everywhere on the runways this season, and they were absolutely magnificent.

 

 

It’s very important that major designers and fashion houses are promoting the use of face masks by making them appear more chic. Their efforts to make this necessary protective gear a fashionable accessory prove just how critical masks are in defeating the pandemic. It looks like big designers are pulling no punches when it comes to encouraging healthy and sanitary habits during this challenging time. With masks printed to match entire runway looks, what’s not to love about masks on the 2020 Fashion Week runways?

Pictured above is young designer Christian Siriano’s take on mid-pandemic themed runway fashion at his Paris Fashion Week show in late September. Matching the masks with his stunning designs for Spring 2021 exemplifies that even medically required protection can be elegant and beautiful. These looks perfectly combine his style and brand aesthetic with elements that ground them in the real world. (Side note: I also love his political activism message.)

 

But by far the most creative use of this accessory on the runway is by Marine Serre. Serre showcased everything, from bold and defiant masks to more wearable ones. The innovation of Marine Serre at Paris Fashion Week was exceptional, especially when it came to making a statement, while also staying safe.

This look from the Marine Serre Paris show is a perfect example of the brand mixing their own signature style with the current health regulations. This extremely avant-garde mask is yet another way top designers have begun embracing the new normal. Although this look definitely wouldn’t work for everyday wear, the fact that Serre decided to make the mask part of her haute couture collection was even more impressive.

Another similar type of face covering from Paco Rabanne (left) proved to be a showstopper on the runway, while Rick Owens(right) decided to showcase a more futuristic take on the accessory:

Each designer’s take on mid-pandemic fashion has been unique and innovative. Their combinations of function with fashion make for plenty of memorable, and even some risky, looks. While all of these runway ready looks may not be appropriate for a day in the office, the fashion world’s ability to adapt to the current global crisis and still manage to thrive is admirable. For me personally, I’m not sure how I’ll be pulling off the full gold sequin Paco Rabanne outfit, however, I admire and respect the passion that went into conceiving it. This year’s Paris Fashion Week was a testament to the perseverance and strength of the fashion community in the midst of all the challenges 2020 has thrown our way.

 

Overall, given the circumstances, Paris Fashion Week exceeded expectations and still delivered looks to love. If you need more proof of that, look no further than the gorgeous face masks that were designed to compliment, and even enhance, each look individually. Thanks to these runway looks, I don’t think anyone can argue that face masks are just a boring necessity, when these shows proved they can be so much more.

 

The Online Runways of Fashion Week

For 2020, fashion shows have joined the modern version of our offices and schools. The COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated many restrictions on large gatherings, so revamped online livestreams and videos have been the main source of information for post-coronavirus ‘spectators.’ Still, the shows went on.

 

 

Paris, London, Milan, and New York City remained the locations to tune in to. Each host location had been struck differently by coronavirus, but new and old designers alike were able to show off their new collections. London Fashion Week consisted of digital delivery and small live shows. Highlights include the denim adorned Burberry trench coats modeled off the traditional runway; Burberry chose to instead present new styles in a forest. While livestreaming fashion shows is certainly not a new concept, Burberry overhauled their show for over 30,000 viewers by adding four hosts; Bella Hadid, Rosalía, Erykah Badu, and Steve Lacy. Simone Rocha chose to showcase her self-named brand live to small groups of spectators. Her collection featured ruffled dresses and exquisite cloth, something she felt needed to be appreciated in person.

 

 

New York permitted larger audiences at outdoor shows, though still this was just a fragment of publicity that brands would want. Cautious Governor Cuomo limited indoor runways to half capacity and barred spectators from such events. In London, online-streamed shows reached audiences worldwide. Pandemic, protests, and politics were not enough to dampen the electrifying colors, sequins, and prints from brands like Tom Ford looking to promote escapism through clothing. Despite limitations on attendance, shows have only become more inclusive. Models of all ethnicities and sizes displayed dazzling new styles, and the ease of viewing combine to allow any fan to connect.

 

Paris Fashion Week also had few in-person shows, leaving many critics complaining about the difficulties of email interviews and low stream quality. Still, industry giants like Louis Vuitton and Balenciaga had the platform to make topic statement pieces about the importance of voting and the struggles of lockdown life.

In contrast to other locations, Milan held more than 20 physical shows. Fendi used the runway to display family themed collections, utilizing models Penelope Tree and Yasmin Le Bon to showcase elegant and matriarcal styles. Prada’s anticipated everyday uniform collection was streamed from a set containing an abundance of cameras to capture every detail and angle. Reflecting themes from other designers, Versace turned to a surreal underwater world for inspiration. These events were well received, especially as young brands like A-Cold-Wall* gain a foothold with accessible streamed shows.

 

Audience members at each show, and some models, covered their faces with the hottest accessory of 2020. Face masks have become a necessity for health and some designers have taken to creating matching mask and dress sets. Both Chanel and Louis Vuitton presented excellent 80s throwback designs. Overall, the events were dominated by a contrast and playful escapism and statement pieces reflecting current political and social climates. Despite the lack of hands-on events consumers can enjoy a plethora of behind the scenes and recap videos. Spring/Summer 2021 Fashion Week certainly was not expected or ideal, but it did create the opportunity for brands to explore a variety of new sets and delivery methods.

 

 

Sources:

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From the Runways to your Instagram Feed: Easy Spring Styles to Implement in Your College Wardrobe

From the Runways to your Instagram Feed: Easy Spring Styles to Implement in Your College Wardrobe

Although there will always be days when a messy top knot and sweatpants are necessary, there will be other days when a still bit of effort put into your outfit can really boost your mood. After NYFW and other fashion shows have come to an end, the new trends and inspiration for spring are bold, retro and fun but can be a bit overwhelming. Here is a breakdown of some trends for spring that we love shown both on the runway and on Instagram to change up your style this semester:

1.Layering upon layering

Both Images: Paper Magazine

Transitional style or just spring style in general is difficult to master due to the constant weather changes. Someday it can be boiling and other days kind of cold. Whether throwing on jeans, a tee, and a coat or adding a sweater any of these ways are both practical and fashionable.

2. Prints and Pastels

Fun prints and pastels scream spring and are easy additions to make your wardrobe pop. A floral print romper to wear to class or pastel pants to brighten up an outfit are great pieces to try out.

Photograph: Yannis Vlamos

Instagram: @Freddy

3. Going back to the '70s

Denim, graphic tees, burnt orange, turtlenecks, bold prints all encompass the decade of the 70’s and influence the runway and streetstyle of today.

Photograph: ImaxTree at Victoria Beckham

Instagram: @tesschristinexo

4. Bring on the Bold and the Beautiful

Photograph: Vogue

Over-the-top frills and ruffles on dresses and even more vibrant colors filled the runways. A massive, ruffle hot pink dress might not be the most appropriate style to rock in the classroom but integrating these fun and bold colors into more casual apparel is an easier task.

Instagram: @thepatriciabright

5. Wild for Animal Print

Instagram: @whaelse
Photo: Imaxtee at Anna Sui

A simple pair of jeans or a plain white tee can be easily jazzed up with a leopard or snakeskin print item, which is not too over the top for class.

6. Shoulder Pads Are Back and Are as Big as Ever

An oversized blazer or coat can make any outfit look more put together- pair a blazer with a cute graphic tee or a skirt and longline coat.

Imaxtree at Saint Laurent

Instagram: @alexcentomo

2019 Makeup and Hair Trends – Runway Edition

2019 Makeup and Hair Trends - Runway Edition

How should we do our hair and makeup for the upcoming spring and summer seasons? While most people use budding season and warmer temperatures as excuses to go lighter on the face and au natural with the locks, 2019 resort and spring runway models showed us else wise; if anything, we need to cake on more eye shadows (while avoiding the dreaded middle school look) and take time to play with our hair. Tedious? Conceivably. Worth the drama and flair? Absolutely.

On the Runway

Strong Brows

If you choose to bare it all, predominant brows help accentuate your features. Attention is drawn to the upper half of the face in which a bold lip flatters naked eyes, proved by models for Miu Miu. Bold brows make the wearer appear more youthful yet decisive and headstrong. Thankfully, bold brows are beauty staples that will stick around long after summer 2019.

Tight Braids

For her 2019 resort collection, German fashion designer Jil Sander presented crisp and clean-looking models, many of whom slicked their hair back and separated tresses with a middle part. Some models additionally styled locks into super tight braids. Benefits of a braid (or two) are that it tames flyaways, and heat is not necessary to create this look. Make this hairstyle more sleek by wrapping strands around the hair tie.

Electrifying Eyeliner

Eyes stand beautifully on their own, but neon colors on the ‘lids transform a bland look into either something refreshing for the day or a surprise for the night. Though many people choose fluorescent hues, white can also make a daring statement. Whether you apply a wash on the entire lid or choose to only drag a line near the lashes, people will notice you from miles away. A model for Christian Siriano wears pink eyeshadows to compliment the designer’s ready-to-wear dress.

Metallic Lips

Tight Top Knots

Glitter took over Jeremy Scott’s show, where both loose and foil-esque glitter sparkled on lips. When looking at the models, Halloween and aliens may come to mind. Yes, these two fit perfectly with metallic lips. However, a dramatic gloss can also achieve the same effect without going overboard.

Backstage at the Fendi spring 2019 ready-to-wear show, four models pose for the press. Rather than loosely bunching hair at the top in relaxed messy buns, models’ tresses are slicked back into tight top knots. To ease the tension, pull some strands of hair down to frame the face.