Feb 17, 2022
Balaclava boom: The fashion accessory in disguise
Feb 17, 2022
From balaclavas to facial coverings to hoodies that hide your entire head, wardrobes seem to be heading back into lockdown mode, whether it's about going incognito or wanting to spend a few more weeks in a sort of protective cocoon.
Pictures of Kanye West stepping out fully masked-up have proved an inescapable sight from the latest Fashion Week in Paris. And we're not talking about a surgical mask, but a mask covering his entire face -- his accessory of choice for discovering the new collections of famous fashion houses like Balenciaga. This took things to a new level -- especially considering that he probably couldn't even see that well through the eye-holes, despite a privileged place on the front row. The fact remains that the famous rapper, who already gave the balaclava a popularity boost a few months ago, has clearly imposed a certain style, which is now gaining followers around the world.
It's hard to believe at a time when many people around the world are only too keen to ditch the face masks that have been part of their lives for almost two (long) years. You'd think that the desire to show yourself to the world again would be stronger than ever... However, the opposite seems to be happening. Maybe it's not so easy to give up on our protective screens. The sudden interest in accessories that conceal part or all of the face could be a sign of this underlying feeling.
On TikTok, the #balaclava hashtag has accumulated no less than 180 million views, while Kanye West's looks at the recent Fashion Week went viral worldwide in just a few hours. Protecting the head and neck, the wool balaclava perfectly embodies this snug, cocoon-like spirit that continues to comfort people around the world, simultaneously acting as a kind of barrier against the virus. More broadly, the global fashion search engine Lyst recently reported a significant increase in searches for balaclavas, confirming the craze for these camouflage accessories.
The streetwear brand Supreme, which regularly offers balaclavas and similar such accessories, even went so far as to present a jacket that, once zipped up, covers your whole head. A means of going unnoticed while protecting yourself from the cold and the outside world.
This unexpected phenomenon, which is not expected to last, is also associated with a craze for clothing and accessories straight off the ski slopes, like Moon Boots, which have made a stylish incursion into the wardrobes of city dwellers this winter. In a different style, the full-face balaclava also fits perfectly with the pre-apocalyptic aesthetic, which is gaining a crowd of followers worldwide. But if all of this is beyond you... take a deep breath, winter is almost over!
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