how 2020’s essential accessory had a rapid fashion makeover

Back in the mists of time – early February – I wandered down Auckland’s main drag where I was on holiday visiting my sister, when we spied a heap of face masks designed by the Kiwi fashion designer Karen Walker in a shop window. How cynical, we scoffed. What crass opportunism. When we passed back six hours later, they’d sold out.

Now I sit surrounded by sample masks that have been sent in by designers for me to trial. There are vintage Liberty prints from Brora, tasteful washed-out blue linens from Plumo, couture French lace backed with cotton, original patterns designed in-house that were originally destined for long dresses from Belgian label Bernadette, and even some silk masks which feel beautiful, but which I fear won’t get worn other than for decoration, because if you can’t wash silk above 30 degrees, the “hygiene” element becomes questionable.

Did I just

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