Undercover – From Necessity to Luxury: The Evolution of Face Coverings During COVID-19

Groves Andrew and Sprecher, D. 2021. Undercover – From Necessity to Luxury: The Evolution of Face Coverings During COVID-19. Online 11 May - 05 Jun 2021

CreatorsGroves Andrew and Sprecher, D.
Description

Opening on 11th May 2021 (one year on from when the UK government first advised people to wear face coverings in enclosed public spaces), Undercover explores how face coverings have evolved in the last 12 months in response to COVID-19. From being a functional PPE object in short supply to becoming an everyday object worn by millions. The simple cloth face covering, which appears to be an unassuming and uncomplicated object, has quickly become a symbolic and contentious artefact.

The exhibition presents 52 unique face covers arranged in chronological order. It examines how the fashion industry rapidly adapted production, manufacturing, and online marketing to meet changing consumer demands. Brands responded quickly to support the global effort to produce PPE for medical personnel. As masks became mandatory, this shifted to labels developing and manufacturing face coverings for their customers.

It explores how these ordinary objects have been transformed from their medical origins to become a highly desirable fashion accessory produced by companies ranging from BoohooMAN to Louis Vuitton. While these masks appear non-gendered, their design, marketing, and wearing reveal long-running narratives within menswear concerned with ideas of protection, risk, and masculinity.

The exhibition features examples from Adidas, Balenciaga, BoohooMAN, Burberry, C.P. Company, Fakescum, Ahluwalia, Liam Hodges, Mulberry, Raeburn, Christopher Kane, Huntsman, JW Anderson, Levi's, Liberty, Louis Vuitton, Manchester City FC, New & Lingwood, Off-White, Paul & Shark, Paul Smith, Rick Owens, Sunspel, Turnbull & Asser, Vivienne Westwood, and WAWWA.

Date11 May 2021
Keywordsmenswear
face coverings
masks
COVID-19
fashion exhibition
Files
Image credit
Andrew Groves
Media type
Image
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Open (open metadata and files)
Web address (URL)https://www.mensweararchive.com/undercover-exhibition

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Permalink - https://westminsterresearch.westminster.ac.uk/item/v4y33/undercover-from-necessity-to-luxury-the-evolution-of-face-coverings-during-covid-19


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