Covid-19 and fashion transformations

Prof. D. S. Lubomir Stoykov

Happiness in misery! The coronavirus pandemic is about to ruin the fashion industry and cross out fashion trends, on the one hand, but on the other, it gives us new opportunities. What kind? This is mostly about new chances for ingenuity, imagination and original ideas. For example, there is an increasing interest in color styling, adding more colors in our appearance. Some of the world's movie stars and pop artists have changed their hair to bright colors - Hillary Duff dyed her hair blue, and Jennifer Love Hewitt posted an Instagram photo of her with pink hair.

There are women's discussions about the meaning of wearing a bra during home isolation. Famous top model Naomi Campbell says that in the evening she changes her usual sportswear - tank tops, T-shirts she wears during the day, with special kaftans (her favorite clothing) and even shares that she is a kaftan lover and owner of kaftans that were owned formerly of Elizabeth Taylor. A fresh campaign also started for a "pillow dress" with the idea being introduced by ​​two ladies - Instagram influencers who uploaded their photos - one with a pink and the other with a blue pillow attached to their body with a belt across their waist. This new trend was very well received and celebrities such as Hallie Berry have started dressing up and posting pictures of their new outfit online.

Desizo Monni

The coronavirus failed to kill the true need for a modern look despite the restrictions imposed, isolation and, in general, the state of emergency. This desire was especially evident in the design and symbolism of face masks. The possibilities for fashion identification are truly endless: from the choice of color to the corresponding print or mask design. In general, the mask is also seen as a sign of the crisis, of the pandemic, of the invasion of COVID-19. Even masked emojis were added, the urban neo-folklore intensified in this direction, many jokes and even humorous comments about wearing face masks were born. This safeguard is also a key word in the T-shirt prints that Jared Leto has started to offer. Along with the word "mask", other topical words - Zoom, quarantine and toilet paper - are printed on his T-shirts.

In the Covid-19 situation, masks are the visual component that is extremely present in every kind of space - be it real, physical, or virtual - as a second reality. Their communicative importance is further enhanced by the fact that they cover-up a large part of the human face, which is a major factor in body language, the so-called non-verbal communication. All of this explains why protective masks have become an extremely important status symbol - i.e. a symbol of the cultural, social, material and professional status of their user.

In the coronavirus crisis, the mask shows a number of things about the person who wears it. For example, the highest class protection masks - FFP3 class (providing 99% particle filtration and up to 2% leakage) or FFP2 class (providing 94% particle filtration and up to 8% leakage) indicate that their wearers are people with resources, good contacts with doctors, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies (though these masks are mainly used by medical staff) and are well informed about the effect of wearing them.

Desizo Monni

Wearing designer masks, along with the health culture, shows the fashion literacy and aesthetic persistence of their wearers, along with their desire to be relevant and sophisticated even in such apocalyptic times. I am not only referring to the masks by famous fashion houses such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Gucci, but also to the works of such famous Bulgarian fashion designers and brands as Evgenia Jivkova, Nevena Nikolova, Ivan Donev, Radoslava Lazarova, Dilyana Mateeva, Desizo Monni, Blink, Art.Look, and others. They manage to combine the practical with the beautiful and offer three-layer and two-layer masks made of cotton, silk, antibacterial textiles, neoprene, and some of them with activated carbon. It is an important fact that all of the names listed above are winners of the highly prestigious Golden Needle award, which shows that our top designers are once again in the forefront and are socially engaged.

Photos: Desizo Monni

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Tags:coronavirus pandemic, fashion industry

About the Author

Prof. Lubomir Stoykov

Lubomir Stoykov is a full-time professor at the University of National and World Economy (UNWE), Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski" and at the National Academy of Arts (NAA). MSc in Journalism, PhD in Philology and Doctor of Science. At the University of National and World Economy he teaches "Public Relations", "Culture and Mass Media", "Image-Making", "Public Relations Management", "Lifestyle Journalism", "Corporate Culture and Communication" ; at the Faculty of Journalism and Mass Communication at Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski he teaches “Culture and Media”, “Business Communication”, “Fashion Journalism", etc .; at the National Academy of Arts he teaches "Fashion Theory", "Fashion as Art and Creativity", "Fashion - Media, Marketing and Advertising" and more. Field of his scientific interests: mass media and culture, lifestyle journalism, business communication, public relations, company culture, culture and fashion, etc. Founder and Research Coordinator of the MSc Program in Public Relations at the University of National and World Economy and the MSc Program in Lifestyle Journalism at the Faculty of Journalism and Mass Communication at Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski". Member of the Habilitation Council at the University of National and World Economy.
Born May 11, 1954 in Stara Zagora. Graduate in Journalism at the Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski" (1979). Expert on Corporate Culture and Business Communication, famous Bulgarian Fashion Journalist and Fashion Critic, Culturalologist, Aesthetician and PR Consultant. Author and host of the first Bulgarian specialized weekly fashion show "Brilliance" on BNT (1994). Author and host of the weekly fashion show on Nova TV "From needle to thread" (1995 - 2003). Author and host of the weekly Fashion Show "The Charming Dictator" on TV "7 Days" (2004 - 2008). Editor-in-Chief of “Moda” magazine (1997). Editor-in-chief of the e-magazine "Fashion Lifestyle Magazine" (2007 - 2010). Editor-in-chief of the online journal "Media and Public Communications". Member of the American Public Relations Society (PRSA). President of the Academy of Fashion. Member of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Adviser to the Parliamentary Committee on Civil Society and Media. Co-founder of the Association of Image-makers and PR Specialists "Imagines" and a member of its management board. Chairman of the Bulgarian Academic Communications Association. Manager of consulting house "From Needle to Thread". Member of the Union of Bulgarian Journalists. Author of 50 documentaries of world-famous designers. He has interviewed over 100 celebrities from all over the world - in the field of fashion, cinema and pop music, most of them for the first time for the Bulgarian media such as Pierre Cardin, Paco Rabanne, Lloyd Klein, Alexander McQueen, Emmanuel Ungaro, Oscar de la Renta, Hubert de Givenchy, Nino Cerruti, Sonia Rykiel, Ivana Trump, Esther Cañadas, Betsey Johnson, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Bill Blass, Stephen Baldwin, Michael Madsen, Elizabeth Hurley, Anouk Aimée, Claudia Cardinale, Kenzo, Versace, Giovanna Ferragamo, Luciano Benetton, Boy George, Bryan Ferry, Isabella Scorupco, Cyrielle Clair, Alek Wek, Nicky and Paris Hilton and others. Winner of the highest award of the Union of Bulgarian Journalists - "Golden Feather".

Author of books:
"World Fashion Icons" (2014), "Facebook Communication" (2012), "Fashion Smiles" (2012), "Effective Business Communication" (2010), "Public Relations Management" (2006), "Culture and Media" (2006), "Public Relations and Business Communication", co-authored by V. Pacheva (2005), "World Fashion - Part III - Italy" (1998), "Corporate Culture and Communication" (1995), "Bulgarian Advertising", " World Fashion - Part I - co-authored by G. Grozdev (1995), "The Fashion: From Nefertiti to the Top Models" (1994), "The Man Outside and Inside" (1990), The Beauty of Communication (1984), The Charming Dictator, Kaleidoscope of Fashion (1982) and others.

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