September 12, 2020 2:15:23 pm
From the futuristic Darth Vader-inspired mask Lady Gaga wore at the Video Music Awards this year, to Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra’s unique mask with the lower half of his own face printed on it – the humble face mask, which was meant to be purely functional, has evolved into a medium for self-expression.
When face coverings and masks were made mandatory, apparel manufacturers from across the country were quick to jump on the bandwagon and began producing face masks in a multitude of colours and prints. However, some took it to the next level by giving their own original twist to the face mask by experimenting with materials and design.
A look at some of the most unique face masks seen in recent months:
Harry Potter themed mask reveals ‘Marauder’s Map’ when you breathe
Stefanie Hook, a Colorado-based artist, shot to fame on social media after she shared a video of herself wearing a ‘magic mask‘ inspired by JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series. In the video, Hook demonstrated how the basic black mask transformed into the Marauder’s Map, featured in the series, simply by breathing into it.
The mask was made using a pre-printed design of the map, which was then treated with a colour-changing pigment. The change in colour is triggered by the heat of its wearer’s breath, reports claimed.
LG’s battery-powered mask fights both Covid-19 and foggy glasses
— Nishant Pathak (@NishantBareilly) September 4, 2020
South Korean tech major LG Electronics recently unveiled the high-tech PuriCare Wearable mask, equipped with two fans and high-efficiency air filters, Reuters reported. With face masks quickly becoming a daily necessity for people around the world, technology companies are trying to maximise safety without compromising on comfort.
The in-built machinery of LG’s latest offering makes it easier for its wearer to breathe and also prevents spectacles from fogging up.
“Breathing is the biggest concern when it comes to wearing a face mask and disposable masks come with a huge environment cost,” Choi Yoon-hee, a senior official at LG Electronics’ air solution product team, told Reuters.
The device comes with a case that both charges its battery and disinfects it using UV light. LG is yet to officially launch the product.
Pune man’s gold mask worth Rs 3 lakh goes viral on social media
Businessman Shankar Kurhade wears a facemask made of gold and being worth around 290,000 rupees (US$ 4,000) amid concerns over the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, in Pune on July 4, 2020. 📸Sanket WANKHADE / @AFP pic.twitter.com/Inl0kXQ87Z
— AFP South Asia (@AFPSouthAsia) July 4, 2020
Shankar Kurhade, a 49-year-old man from Pimpri-Chinchwad, became a social media sensation after photographs of him wearing a gold mask worth Rs 3 lakh surfaced online.
“I didn’t do it for publicity. I’m fond of gold,” he explained at the time, adding that he was unsure whether the mask would actually protect him from Covid-10. “It is not the gold or cloth mask, but social distancing and hand washing that will protect human beings from coronavirus (sic).”
Kurhade said he was inspired after watching a video clip of a man from Kolhapur wearing a silver mask.
Lady Gaga turns heads with bold statement masks at VMAs
— Video Music Awards (@vmas) September 1, 2020
During her multiple appearances at the MTV Video Music Awards last month, singer Lady Gaga was seen wearing a number of face masks – ranging from unique to absurd. With every outfit change, she adorned a new face covering.
In a performance with Ariana Grande, Gaga wore a futuristic Darth Vader-inspired mask that featured an animated wavelength.
Later, while accepting an award for ‘Song of the Year’, she wore a leather face mask with two realistic horns protruding out of it. The singer was also seen wearing a bright pink latex gas mask at one point during the show.
Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra gets his own face printed on mask
— Naveen Kapoor ANI (@IamNaveenKapoor) August 10, 2020
How do you recognise someone when their face is concealed behind a face mask? Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra found a simple solution – get the lower half of your face printed on it.
However, the trend first became popular in Kottayam, Kerala, where the owner of a local photo studio began customising face masks for people in the area.
Earlier this year, Mishra had been criticised for violating lockdown norms and not wearing a face mask during a visit to his hometown.
Leather artist makes alien ‘face hugger’ mask
A UK-based artisanal leather worker, named James, designed an eerie 59-piece mask inspired by the ‘face hugger’ creature from the ‘Alien’ film franchise. The detailed light brown mask is complete with spidery limbs that go behind the wearers years, and a long tail that winds around the neck.
UK woman designs mask with clear panels for people with hearing loss
Claire Cross, a 45-year-old furloughed pub manager from southwest England, made about 100 masks with clear panels sewn into them for those with partial or full hearing loss to be able to communicate with others by lip-reading.
“I shared what I was doing and have had loads of requests not only from people that rely on lip-reading themselves but those working with people that rely on it, such as care providers and also nurses and doctors that work in speech clinics,” Cross told The Independent in an interview.
Cross started making the masks when her friends, who relied on lip-reading to communicate, began facing difficulties while wearing face coverings and masks.
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