Art,  Fashion,  Self-Care

Haute Couture Masks Elevate “Personal Protection Equipment” Into an Art Form

There’s no doubt that last year was….how shall we say? Well….INTERESTING, for lack of a better word. Let’s face it: 2020 was a straight trip and no amount of hindsight, or therapy, can rewrite that last grim chapter in our world history. We’ve buried more than two million worldwide from coronavirus and a brave new world has emerged…one requiring a few tough adjustments, as well as an unfamiliar lexicon.

Bizarre phrases of alienation, like “personal protection equipment,” “self-isolation” “social distancing” and “mask mandate,” have choked out our collective vocabulary. And speaking of the mask mandate, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend continuing to be vigilant and masking up to protect yourself and others.

Not one, but three Covid-19 vaccines are rolling out across the globe which means the essential mask of 2020 could be antiquated by next year. At least, let us hope so. During that awkward transitional period, however, it may be possible to look glamorous while wearing said mask….that is, if you take direction from Dutch couturier Ronald Van der Kemp. Ronald auctioned these imaginative confections last year at Christie’s for a local Holland charity, Refugee Company. This was, in my opinion, the single most triumphant moment of fashion in 2020.

In fact, you may have even read about these haute couture creations in Vogue or seen them peeking out of WWD. They got a lot of press because they’re terribly chic and creative. To further add to their intrigue, they’re also 100 percent sustainably made, and made with the highest standards in traditional couture technique — that is, hand-sewn, painted and embellished with the most beautiful-quality scraps and remnants! How cool is that?!?!

You’ll be reading much more about Ronald here soon, because not only is his talent enormous, but also, his heart. I’m going to give you a guided tour of some his glorious collections that he calls ‘wardrobes,’ thank you very much, due to its implication of longevity and permanence which is what true couture is all about. And true couture is what Ronald is all about. But he’s also concerned about the relationship between the fashion industry and the environment, and the consumer and the environment. His are clothes made with a conscience as he attempts to minimize waste and curb the conspicuous consumption that is such a sad and ironic characteristic of the fashion industry.

In addition to viewing his wonderful wardrobes, you’ll also get some low-key schooling in the subject of how to build your own collection of couture like a true sophisticate! So stay tuned. And in the meantime, if you’d like to see Ronald’s complete collection of 29 arresting haute couture masks and read about their sale for charity at Christie’s, click here. That’s it for today. Ciao for now, from your favorite fashionista! See you around.

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