Masks Were On The Runways All Fashion Month

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The Fall/Winter 2020 fashion month was full of bold accessories, from luxury AirPods cases, to fur fringed handbags. Perhaps the boldest, and in retrospect most foreboding, of these were the various pieces that masked the faces of models as they stormed the runway in the newest fashion. Heads were adorned with everything from latex balaclavas to rhinestone head wraps. Now, as the world confronts the COVID-19 pandemic and learns how to effectively take precautions (face masks do not guard against the spread of the virus), the spectacle of the runways seem like a theatrical foreshadowing of what was to come. From bondage-inspired gimp masks to crystal head wraps, several designers veered as far away from the surgical masks associated with coronavirus as possible, instead interpreting this over-the-top accessory in eclectic and unique ways and creating some of the most memorable looks from the Fall/Winter 2020 season.

Face masks are nothing new to Marine Serre, and this season, the French designer added more to the mix, with sheer and sequined masks accessorizing patterned outfits. Models of all ages walked Serre’s runway, displaying the versatility of her updcycled designs, some complete with knit masks or head coverings. Full houndstooth ensembles refreshed the classic print, one appearing with a coordinating mask as the finishing touch. Another look featured a sheer, lizard pattern bodysuit covering the head of a model, with a hot pink dress and velvet gloves layered on top.

Richard Quinn’s bold prints and voluminous silhouettes were maximized at London Fashion Week, with masked figures putting a new spin on monochrome. Fully patterned looks, down to the full face coverings, walked the runway, afflicting the audience with sensory overload. A bright yellow, floral ensemble with a wide skirt reminiscent of Dior’s New Look added a touch of spring to the fall collection, and outfits adorned with pearls gave a special tribute to the Pearlies of Great Britain, whose outfits were adorned with Mother of Pearl buttons. Latex, another trend from the season and recurring theme on Quinn’s runways, also added a touch of kink to the collection in the form of a gimp mask paired with a feminine dress and matching latex tights and gloves.

At Area, faces were not masked but framed, as models emerged with crystal head wraps created in collaboration with hair stylist Jawara Wauchope. Textured, embellished dresses and structural silhouettes complemented the shimmering stones encasing heads and hair. For some looks, the headdresses were substituted for hair itself, creating a scarf-like wrap around the models’ faces. Adding a glittering headpiece rather than a full-face covering offers an approachable take on the mask trend.

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