During the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week TOKYO (MBFWT), an interesting sight hit the runway.
MBFWT is one of the highest regarded fashion shows on the road, along with those held in Paris, New York, London and Milan, and is hosted by the Japan Fashion Week Organization twice a year in October and March. Though it sounds bizarre, Nguyen Cong Tri, a self-taught Vietnamese fashion designer, debuted knitted face masks during his runway show.
Cong Tri is no stranger to avant-garde fashion. On his website, Cong Tri displays multiple collections, including colorful and inventive ao dais, Vietnam’s national dress, pieces modeled after human anatomy and accessories with mechanical elements.
Cong Tri was first introduced to the world of fashion with his “Green Leaves” fashion collection in 2000, which won first place in the “New Idea” category at the Vietnam Collection Grand Prix.
According to NotJustALabel.com, an online platform for fashion design, “his signature aesthetic and keen eye for detail combines progressive and hand-made techniques, resulting in collections which feature laser cutting, interlacing, hand-ironed pleating, knitting and hand painting, with a particular emphasis on jewel and sequin embellishments.”
It is too early to say whether these knitted face masks will incite a new global fashion trend, but they have received a variety of responses.
“These are masks for your face that are knitted together,” Lisa Wallace, a senior majoring in chemistry, said. “And its fashion, so quiet honestly, in order to actually respect it, you have to look at it in a non-practical sense, because if you actually looked at it, you’d think it’s ridiculous.
“But I guess it’d be the interpretation, more so. So, come at it from a fashion side. It might be doable, but in my opinion, it’s completely ridiculous.”
However, the reception of these masks is not all bad.
Madison Breeze, a freshman majoring in studio art, said she believes someday the knit masks may take off.
“I think they’re kind of cute, and I would wear one if it ever got super cold,” she said. “Maybe someday they’ll catch on. Probably not in Florida, though, because it isn’t that cold here. Maybe somewhere colder, though, because that solves the problem of cold noses and mouths.”