Melbourne makes mask culture their own
Updated: Aug 28
Move over New York City, just because masks are mandatory and the marker of a pretty scary reality doesn't mean that we can't have some fun with them.
Nothing says Melbourne like boutique fashion, and it took no time at all for the Aussie icons and smaller niche players to offer up their wares, at a cost of course. Brands including (but certainly not limited to) Gorman, Kloke, Kuwaii, Limb and the ironically named Permanent Vacation have all quickly turned around reusable masks for the environmental fashionistas amongst us. Whether your'e looking for vintage Japanese fabrics, 100% linen or just a cool pattern you won't accidentally mistake for your housemate's this list from Fashion Journal has you sorted.
But why settle for fashion alone when you can look trendy whilst doing some good as well? Big brands to small are offering customers a chance to buy a mask while putting their money towards causes. Brands like these are utilising mask production to provide work to asylum seekers, supporting artists and those donating a percentage of mask sales to indigenous causes. Cotton On is one of the bigger Australian players who are also using mask profits in a positive, with funds raised towards youth empowerment through education and healthcare. If 2020 has taught us anything it is that no matter how hard our lot may seem there are others in need of our help.
Let us all remain aware however that masks are a health measure, especially some private schools who have found themselves in hot water recently. Lowther Hall Anglican Grammar in Essendon came under fire when they requested that their students only wear masks in the colour of 'earslbrae blue' (I assume that's like duck egg but more expensive). Lighthouse Christian College in Keysborough also asked students to dress specifically with a “standard solid colour only” of either grey, black, blue or white, with “no designs/patterns”.
As time moves on our mask game is sure to too. Whether it be by making it more glam with sunglass cord-esque mask chains, updating to silk/silk lined masks to fight of maskne (mask acne) or even getting a mask that can translate what you're saying into a different language.
For now it looks like they might be sticking around so we may as well have a little fun with them.