Katie Iwagami and Vera Blinova (Parsons School of Design, The New School, New York). Redefining Approachability: DIY Facial Wear Practices in the time of COVID-19 within Russian culture

Our research explores how innovators have responded to facial wear adaptations. Vanessa Friedman of The New York Times suggests that this particular facial decoration has evolved to symbolize among many things, as “a gesture of community.” As creators adapt to a lifestyle that encourages them to stay home, some are seeking inspiration from the natural environment as they refashion their closets and their art practices. Masks can be perceived as fashion items portraying personal identity, as well as physical and emotional protective devices. Moscow based artist Katya, (@thundergirl_xtal) reconsiders the accessorized body through her DIY approach of floral stylized self-portraits. Vera, a Russian fashion design student, highlights the emotional significance to the wearer of facial protection through the redesign of her personal gas mask. In contextualization of this ‘new normal’ we consider how cultural-based attitudes can impact creativity.

Katie Iwagami>>
Vera Blinova>>