AWARENESS THROUGH FASHION
Designers all over the world create unique pieces in response to COVID-19.
In an effort to bring awareness to the public, these three projects aim to communicate a critical health message about the virus in a creative and understandable way.
Italian costume designer Veronica Toppino uses historical examples of social distancing in fashion to inspire her new collection of “Structure” hats. The hats highlight the role of functionality in fashion during a pandemic and are intended to help people feel protected while still maintaining extravagance.
The shapes used in creating the Structure hats come from the oversized broad-rimmed hats frequently worn by women during the 18th century. Toppino considers her pieces to be large structural accessories designed to keep other people at an arm’s length.
“Protection is one of the principal functions of dress,” said Toppino. “We usually ignore that because we rather prefer to think about style and glamour. But as we are living in a strange time where social distancing has become a buzzword, the question arises: how can dress help protect us?” – Veronica Toppino
Freyja Sewell, a London based designer, shows her appreciation for cornvirus key workers through a collection of eight decorative face masks. The masks are meant to be a visual response to the virus and are made only with recycled common objects such as old yoghurt cups and pool table triangles. This project was Sewell’s way of saying thank you to those who have remained working during the pandemic.
Sewell drew inspiration from styles seen in various sci-fi fiction films and TV series as they place a heavy emphasis on symmetry. The only materials she used to create these masks were the common objects she had lying around her house during the lockdown.
The masks represent the eight main groups of key workers outlined by the government such as health and social care, education and childcare, public services and local and national government. Other groups include workers in the food industry, necessary goods industries, public safety and national security staff, utilities, communication and financial services personnel and transport workers. Each group’s masks portray their own vibrant, unique, and symbolic design.
“The face mask is 2020’s most iconic and important visual motif,” said Sewell. “It has moved from being a simple piece of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to a badge of honor, worn by the heroes who have kept our society functioning during the most disruptive collective experience since World War II.” – Freyja Sewell
Livable, an American research and design platform, has created a rattan frame for people to wear in order to bring awareness to the act of social distancing. The company named it the Well-Distance-Bing as the frame is intended to create a barrier around the body that people must physically respect.
This project was designed for the United Nations Global Call Out to Creatives Initiative and is meant to make people more aware of the need for physical distance between humans through a creative and simple design.
The overall form of the Well-Distance-Bieng was inspired by crinolines which can be found in stiffened petticoats worn underneath garments in the Victorian Era. The cage-like forms rest on the users shoulders and fan out upwards to cover the face and then downwards to cover the body.
“Physical distance is not being cold or distant; mentally it is about being warm and present for those who need it the most. If you do need to get out in the physical world, keep your distance and connect with positive vibrations surrounding you,” he continued. “The risk of infecting others is not the way to help. We are communicating a critical health message in return for a smile in times where the importance of a healthy mind is more important than ever.” –Livable founder Sep Verboom
Additional Information and sourcing from: Dezeen.com