This story was originally published on September 15.
On Imitation of Christ-wearing skateboarders in L.A., on models in Anna Sui’s dollhouse, on crystal-embellished beings in the land of Libertine — everywhere we look during the first digital New York Fashion Week are face masks, each one more stylish than the last. Not that we are entirely surprised: Face masks are one of this year’s most used accessory, after all. So much so that, over the last few months, designers have taken to vamping up the protective items with gemstones, bows, flowers, and chain accessories. (Louis Vuitton is currently selling a $961 LV Monogram face shield.) So, naturally, when Zero + Maria Cornejo debuted a quilted, navy blue mask on Monday, we knew it’d be one of many to come.
The number of face masks appearing during an almost entirely virtual fashion week is proof that PPE has also become a mode of expressing one's sense of style and identity — one that's as frequently included in collections as other accessories like crochet bucket hats and Teva sandals (Sui). (It also serves as a reminder that we should all continue to wear masks to reduce COVID-19 spread.)
And, with collections from some of fashion’s most popular mask designers — including Collina Strada, Christian Siriano, and Alice + Olivia by Stacey Bendet — still to come, we have a feeling the best is yet to be seen. For now, click ahead to see how designers have approached this year’s most essential fashion item thus far.