And here we thought alt. fashionistas were making a statement when wearing a latex hood. But we latex lovers have nothing on the facekini.
The current fashion trend for summer in Beijing, which really spread like wildfire (no pun intended) during the country’s scorching hot last few months, is for wearers to don a UV-resistant lightweight ski-mask to keep the dangerous rays of sunlight off one’s face and head. Residents of China have also been seen wearing protective arm sleeves and bright brim hats with built-in fans. But according to fashion and culture reports coming in for the end of the summer 2023, the facekini is presently all the rage.
The facekini actually goes back quite a ways, to 2004, in fact. Accountant Zhang Shifan, who lives in China’s seaside city of Qingdao, initially created garments so beachgoers could be protected from jellyfish stings. But over the years, her mask evolved from being a faceless covering with only openings for eyes, mouth, and nostrils to facekinis that are more colorful and stylishly extravagant. When New York-based CR Fashion Book released a set of eight images of models wearing haute couture swimsuits (including those from Gucci and Alexander Wang), the accessories in the pictures, jewelry, and colorful facekinis surely put the head covering into the mainstream.
Latex hoods and masks are a standard accessory for many lovers of our most favorite textile. As they are surely a great way to retain one’s anonymity at an alt. fashion event or a play party. But unlike the facekini, which the wearer slips on to beat the heat, a latex mask will surely make you aware of it.