Making a fashion statement with masks – Monterey Herald

CARMEL — Sarah Kallison believed, from the very starting, that COVID-19 masks would shift from perform to vogue.

The Carmel Woods fashionista, who has collected some two-dozen masks, plus the bundle of 50 surgical masks she purchased first, believed she wanted backstock since she assumed masks needs to be laundered every day. Now she collects them like some ladies purchase footwear.

“Masks are like neckties,” she stated, “which not many individuals are sporting any extra, however they’re a enjoyable, cool, colourful accent. I’ve ordered a complete bunch of masks, having allotted cash I might need spent on garments, to my masks assortment. In case you go for actually attention-grabbing or lovely masks, it’s like accumulating artwork.”

Brian Gumtang

The prettiest masks Kallison has present in Carmel are the 5 cotton-lined silk coverings she purchased at attire boutique Johnny Was, on Ocean Avenue.

“We introduced in 500 masks, in each cotton and silk, and offered out in a month,” stated Johnny Was Assistant Supervisor Brian Gumtang. “Our silks had been the most well-liked, however all of them had been lovely, in florals, tribal prints, and Bohemian patterns. However don’t fear; we’re anticipating our new cargo quickly.”

Perform and kind

Till lately, masks primarily protected the well-being of surgeons, dentists, and manicurists, and the anonymity of bandits. Now, regardless of who we’re or what we do, all of us are speculated to be sporting masks. And most of us are.

Ceci Rangel

When the coronavirus got here to america, the CDC really helpful sporting fabric face coverings in public settings the place physical-distancing is tough to keep up, comparable to grocery shops, pharmacies and medical places of work. On June 18, Governor Gavin Newsom made masks obligatory in all public settings all through California.

Whereas masks could seem to be a nuisance, folks discover methods to make issues work. Since studies typically point out we’re on this for the lengthy haul, we’re getting artistic, taking masks past private protecting gear to painting private type.

Designing ladies

Kallison additionally collects masks from Seaside-based designer Ceci Rangel, whom she met throughout a couture vogue course at Monterey Peninsula Faculty. Though Rangel is thought for designing customized special-occasion clothes — marriage ceremony robes, ballgowns, promenade and quinceañera attire — these celebrations have been postponed, inflicting her to shift her artistic expression to creating masks. Suppose sequins, beading, fringe, and positive materials.

Ceci Rangel

“The primary masks I made had been for my household. I assumed, if we’re going to must put on these, we have to discover a option to alter to them, to be snug,” Rangel stated. “I’m very conscious that we’re sporting masks to guard ourselves and others, however I like the artistry and vogue that’s doable with masks if we get artistic.”

Ericka Engelman, of her legendary design home Ericka Engelman Couture, was working into the identical circumstance as Rangel, with each postponed occasion. Famend for her bespoke marriage ceremony robes, the Salinas-based designer discovered herself with plenty of half-made robes, as weddings had been moved to 2021.

In the meantime, the demand for designer masks continues to climb.

“At first, everybody appeared to be making masks for household and first responders,” she stated. “I used to be freely giving all my elastic as a result of it turned as scarce as bathroom paper. My husband and I actually assist mask-wearing, so I made a decision I ought to begin making masks, too.”

Utilizing no matter cloth remnants had been obtainable in her salon, Engelman made greater than 600 masks. Then her creative-design genius kicked in.

“I noticed {a photograph} of a lady whose masks had a tiny flap within the entrance, overlaying a gap via which she was sipping one thing via a straw. I assumed it was intelligent,” she stated, “however not sensible because it uncovered the mouth.”

Salinas-based designer Ericka Engelman created“The Sipper,” a two-layer masks with a pleat on either side, behind which is a buttonhole via which to stay a straw. (Picture courtesy of Ericka Engelman)

So, she began drawing. Engelman designed “The Sipper,” a two-layer masks with a pleat on either side, behind which is a buttonhole via which to stay a straw. For the reason that pleats are off to the facet of the masks, she says, the wearer stays utterly coated. Engelman, whose Sipper masks are offered at “Want,” a present boutique in Walnut Creek, and thru Etsy, at “Gotcha Lined Store,” despatched out one other 60 sipper masks this week.

“I’ve made couture masks to match attire and to enrich COVID weddings,” she stated. “It creates a complete totally different look. I’m actually having enjoyable with this. It’s like dressing up with out placing on make-up.”

In her Carmel boutique, “Ruffle Me to Sleep,” designer Dee Borsella’s customized loungewear, robes, and sleepwear are identified for lovely materials that really feel tender to the hand. And now, so do her masks.

“I’ve been making masks ever since we had been requested to put on them,” Borsella stated. “I put masks on the stuffed animals I usher in from Germany, and positioned them within the entrance window. Individuals began asking for the masks, joyful to know they may purchase fairly masks domestically and never must order on-line.”

A number of folks have purchased stuffed animals, to assist kids grow to be snug sporting a masks.

Ericka Engelman

A few of Borsella’s masks are silk, and a few are tender cotton, all with a easy elastic over the ears. At first, it was inconceivable to get elastic, so she used her ruffled ornamental elastic remnants, making her masks fancy.

“The gorgeous materials I take advantage of make masks vogue,” she stated, “whereas the form and softness assist their perform. I began doing this as a service to the neighborhood and have now made greater than 1,000 masks. I see my masks throughout city. It feels good to know I’m serving to folks keep protected.”

The artwork of giving

Artist Janet Roberts is keen on scarves. The equestrian prefers to tie on a neckerchief and pull it onto her face when obligatory. However she additionally received the thought to print photos of her summary work — those that say “Love” throughout the canvas — onto masks. Principally she offers them to kids and adults who want them.

Artist Janet Roberts prints photos of her summary work — those that say “Love” throughout the canvas — onto masks. (Picture courtesy of Janet Roberts)

“Each time I promote a portray, I work out how a lot of that I may give away via masks,” stated the artist, from her studio atop Corral de Tierra. “A lot has been fabricated from masks, however I truly assume folks just like the look of face shields. We will eat and drink, discuss, interact, learn expressions. Individuals can really feel a way of safety and nonetheless present our face.”


Debra Sofa learn, in Girls’s Put on Day by day, the commerce journal referred to as “the bible of vogue,” that lipstick gross sales are down, whereas eye make-up gross sales are up. Due to the masks mandate, the concentrate on the face has shifted upward to the eyes.

There is also plenty of focus, she says, on face masks as a necessary accent to finish an outfit. In truth, at “Debra C,” her ladies’s designer and private-label salon in The Crossroads Carmel, so many shoppers requested for masks to enrich their clothes, Sofa created a complete new classification within the retailer.

“When somebody is available in to buy a jacket or an outfit, we direct them to the masks that may go along with it. Everyone knows masks are a part of a necessary protocol, and they need to be,” she stated, “however we are able to make them very ‘vogue conscious.’ They’re like sun shades. A vogue assertion.”

At present, says Sofa, the well-dressed lady will select a mask-like she selected her lipstick. Simply the proper pop of shade, and she or he’s out the door.

Designer Debra Sofa says the well-dressed lady will select a mask-like she selected her lipstick. Simply the proper pop of shade and she or he’s out the door. (Picture courtesy of Ceci Rangel)


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