Behind The Mask: 8 Regional Designers On Creating Couture Versions Of The Accessory No One Saw Coming

BY Olivia Phillips / Jun 24 2020 / 19:00 PM

From trench coats to jeans, some of fashion’s most-loved classics started life with utilitarian roots. Is it now the face mask’s turn?

Behind The Mask: 8 Regional Designers On Creating Couture Versions Of The Accessory No One Saw Coming

From trench coats to jeans, some of fashion’s most-loved classics started life with utilitarian roots. Is it now the face mask’s turn?

With fashion data site Lyst reporting a 496% increase in searches for face masks and Etsy revealing that, between April 4-6 people searched for them, nine times per second (equating to 2 million searches!) there’s no doubt about it: the face mask is here to stay in our wardrobes.

Bazaar asked 8 regional designers to take deadstock fabrics and create a couture spin on the accessory no one saw coming.

Georges Hobeika

“The bow – that grand gesture of style that has endured many a style era and become a favoured emblem in my collections – contemplates our poignant present in its latest incarnation.”

Krikor Jabotian

“The mask is a play on my interpretation of submission engulfed with romanticism. It feels reflective of our new world order.”

Romani

“The mask has become a significant symbol of our current time so we wanted to create one that represents the brand and our A/W20 line, Eye Candy, made from this collection’s scrap materials.”

Atelier Zuhra

“Nowadays, face masks are mandatory to reduce the spread of COVID-19. They have become an everyday fashion accessory, however, at Atelier Zuhra we improvised with alternative ways to make an elegant version by adding beautiful acrylics to showcase our own couture styling.”

Nafsika Skourti

“My approach to the mask was to make it a symbol of unity; an object of beauty. When we wear a mask, our faces are no longer visible and yet the energy abounds. We are hopeful, optimistic and standing together as one earth. A togetherness that transcends language; a study and celebration of colour, we worked with our amazing team of local artisans, some with refugee status – whose strength and positive outlook inspire us endlessly”

Yassmin Saleh

“The Yassmin Saleh masks were created using only the leftover and unused scraps available at our atelier. Inspired by our beautiful Lebanon and using our signature fabrics, we wanted to create masks that tell a story and represent the brand’s identity.”

Ingie Paris

“I’m happy to share my unique couture mask made from the fabrics and embellishments used in my previous collections. The mask is adorned with white feathers, pearls and crystal strass, all hand-embroidered on white macramé and nude-pink Georgette. I’m always looking ahead at sustainability as I aim to inspire people to preserve their environment while using their creative minds and maintaining their glamour during these times.”

Maison Yeya

“The chic French era of the ’50s in Egypt is one of the main periods that always inspires me. During that time, women in the Mediterranean coastal area of Alexandria used to wear burqa’as with their beautifully ornamental dresses. Older women in the the Gulf often have very distinctive burqa’as, too, and I love that idea: the revival of the old in the new. With this design, I recreated a modern burqa’a. It’s a statement piece.”

Harper's Bazaar Arabia Summer 2020 Issue


Photography by Toufic Araman at Astudio. Fashion Director: Anna Castan. Models: Cynthia A and Livia both at Bareface. Make-up by Manuel Losada at Art Factory. Producer: Joremi Ongue at Astudio. Photography Assistant: Basher Khalifeh. Lighting Assistant: Arin Gharibian. Retoucher: Janey Renn. Fashion Assistant: Nour Bou Ezz. Editor in Chief: Olivia Phillips.

With special thanks to Chloe Szukilojc, Creative Director at Fine Blooms Dubai