If last year you had suggested buying each other face coverings to celebrate your wedding anniversary, it is fairly certain your partner would not have been able to mask their bemusement – even consternation.
Fast-forward to 2020, however, and in these unprecedented times “mask-chic” is just one way many people have been able to cope with coronavirus health protocols while still managing to maintain a sense of style when socialising with friends (carefully, of course) or enjoying a romantic wedding anniversary dinner at a favourite restaurant.
So, bearing in mind the radically changed status of the face mask, we checked out some of the coolest options available, and discovered two great gift ideas – for him and her – which combine social responsibility with making a fashion statement.
When it comes to haute fashion, few women can capture a more cool look than Helena Christensen. At this year’s Copenhagen Fashion Week SS21, Mercedes-Benz partnered with the Danish supermodel “to demonstrate the responsible side of luxury fashion brands… and raise awareness of the importance of wearing mouth-nose-masks to contain the COVID-19 pandemic”.
To that end, during the four-day event in August, Christensen was photographed against some of Copenhagen’s storied landmarks, styled in five Danish designers’ new collections that incorporated face masks they had either created or customised.
“I am honoured to be working with Mercedes-Benz,” said the model. “We have a responsibility as individuals, and to others, to wear a mask to minimise risks at this time.”
Explaining why it had become involved with Helena Christensen, who has been a prominent face of the luxury industry for more than three decades, the car marquee said she “perfectly typifies the social responsibility of Mercedes-Benz, by demonstrating the importance of wearing a mask… and how they can even be elevated to a piece of iconic design. Both parties want to make a stand on the importance of wearing face coverings, and to do so in a suitably creative way.”
And for the men? This month, The Outlierman introduced the second set of a collection of non-medical face coverings featuring some of the company’s most popular automotive designs.
Using 100 per cent silk and handcrafted by artisans in Como (Italy), each set of three face masks comes in a selection of designs, including “Posh”, “Type 75 Atlantic” and “World Beater”. The first set of three launched earlier this year comprised the “Gentleman Driver”, “World Beater” and “Vintage Race” designs.
Designed with comfort in mind, the multi-layer masks are, according to the company, made for covering your face while maintaining the best possible facial comfort. “The external and internal layers are both made of 100 per cent silk and include a filter pocket, which has been incorporated for a one-time use medical filter. Elastic ear loops ensure tightness on any size face, alongside an adjustable wire nose, which helps create a tight seal and comfort over long periods.”
The masks are also multi-functional, as they can be used as a pocket square, before or after being used, and matched to ties and pocket squares from The Outlierman with the same designs.
The Outlierman is a Bologna-based Italian company that creates luxury automotive-inspired accessories for “gentlemen drivers”.
Photos courtesy of The Outlierman – and Olivia Frølich for Mercedes-Benz