China SS15: Season of the Face Mask

Look no further than the acid-rain tinged shores of China for the latest fashion trend sweeping the world. To combat the constant presence of severe air pollution, Chinese designers showcased during Beijing Fashion Week one of the more unorthodox accessories to hit the catwalks of the world this season, the protective face mask.

Looking like something straight out of the Hannibal Lecter fashion bible, these masks make for quite a potent fashion statement. While some designers elected for the more traditional, clear frame face masks, some demonstrated a flair for the scientific with facial gear that could be described as ‘Hazmat suit realness,’ Aesthetically, though a tad frightening, the designers were seamlessly able to meld the otherwise obtuse appendage with the aesthetic of the entire ensemble.

As witty as it may seem, air pollution is a gravely serious problem that faces China. With levels of coal burning that are exponentially greater than any other developed country, permanent smog is a part of daily life for the nearly 2 billion members of the Chinese population, which as a reminder, is the largest per capita on planet Earth. It is indeed amusing to see such gear on the catwalk, but in the wake of global climate change, it might become commonplace for everyone in the fashion trends of the new millennium. Start picking neutral colors now, face masks might be coming to a fashion retailer near you.

Images courtesy of Getty Images

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