Face Masks Pick Perilous Path From Health Protector to Fashion Accessory

While mindful of trivialising the pandemic, big names from Tilda Swinton to Lady Gaga have been rocking facial coverings.

At the Venice Film Festival the actor Tilda Swinton pulled out an ornate gold design face mask and wore it on the red carpet, just like she would have with a statement clutch bag or a must-have piece of jewellery.

The mask was not entirely pandemic-approved – on Instagram the designer James Merry said the custom-made piece was inspired by “stingray skeletons, seaweed and orchids” – but it was symbolic of a bigger shift: the world of high fashion is finally allowing itself to embrace the coronavirus face mask.

Last week also saw Lady Gaga light up the static VMA awards show with a parade of highly fashion-conscious masks. There was the bubblegum pink one from Cecilio Castrillo (a muzzle which resembled the facehugger from Alien), a horned one from Lance Victor Moore, a futuristic one designed by Smooth Technology and then when accepting an award she wore one in metallics by Maison Met.

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