Icelandic fashion designer makes 'scary' masks to encourage social distancing - GulfToday

Icelandic fashion designer makes 'scary' masks to encourage social distancing


Yr Johannsdottir wears her mask and poses for a photo at her studio in Reykjavik, Iceland.

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic the effectiveness of masks has been under debate, but Icelandic designer Yrurari's knitted face coverings aren't so much to stop airborne droplets as to keep people at a distance by displaying scary tongues or fangs.


The sometimes bizarre creations were inspired by the films and TV shows Yr Johannsdottir, the designer's real name, watched during a self-imposed confinement in March and April.


"The idea is that the masks would be 'scary' because of the rule of keeping the distance," Johannsdottir told a section of the media.


"It was a kind of joke approach... the fabric is not safe or anything, but it would keep people away," the 27-year-old designer added.


tongue2 Fashion designer Yr Johannsdottir poses for a photo wearing one of her masks at her studio.


In the small studio she rents in an industrial area of Reykjavik, balls of yarn are piled up on a shelf next to a desk where a dozen of creations, which are knitted to look like grotesque tongues, fangs and less than flattering dental braces.


The most elaborate creations require up to ten hours of work to complete.


Putting tongues and mouths on masks is a logical continuation of a line of sweaters she produced two years earlier, which represented "confusing feelings that come with life," and included a sweater adorned with tongues that represented "love or lust."


tongue3 Yr Johannsdottir works on one of her masks at her studio in Reykjavik.


Like most Icelandic children, Johannsdottir was taught how to knit in school at the age of nine.


"I got strangely obsessed with knitting... I was always reading Donald Duck comics and knitting at the same time," she said.


While her masks have enjoyed popularity on social media networks, the young Icelandic designer has no intention of mass producing them.


tongue4 Fashion designer Yr Johannsdottir shows one of her masks at her studio.


"I don't want to make too many either, I want them to just be like they are for the moment I made them."




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Textile museums in the United States and the Netherlands have however already expressed interest in adding these masks to their collections as a reminder of these unusual times.

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