A PANDEMIC SPECIAL: THE RETURN OF BALACLAVA
In the past year, we’ve all rocked all sorts of masks. As a result, we’ve collectively summoned the balaclava. Thanks to this year’s crochet trend, balaclavas have gone beyond the form we know and reappeared in a must-have piece form.
In addition to the warmth provided by balaclavas in cold weather, they are also a very practical option during the pandemic period as they cover the mouth and nose areas.
However, it is still worth saying that a crocheted balaclavas protects less from airborne viruses than surgical or cloth masks. You should definitely wear a surgical mask underneath.
The trend has taken its place in the collections of many brands, from Beyoncé’s Ivy Park to the Celiné runway. In the Ivy Park campaign, balaclava takes its place as a piece of luxury outerwear. The diamond-studded balaclava appears in Beyoncé’s head like a beamed piece from the post-Covid fantasy world. Moreover, fashion brands such as Celiné, Raf Simons and Greater Goods allowed us to see the balaclavas in a more practical and asthetic way.
Balaclavas, a piece always associated with war, were originally produced during the Crimean War to protect British soldiers from the inclement weather of present-day Modern Ukraine. Another reason the piece has become popular is that gender norms have become more fluid thanks to the almighty Gen Z!
Balaclava also symbolizes anarchy and has a racial subtext. Nike used balaclavas in its 2018 campaign, but faced accusations that it stereotyped black youth with elements of gang culture. Then the product was withdrawn, and Nike announced that the product was actually part of the large Nike Training collection and was produced for different markets around the world. Marine Serre is also among the designers accused of exploiting this racial subtext.
Just like hooded sweatshirts, balaclavas evoke feelings of protection, mystery and threat. Normalizing the daily use of ski masks also very well describes modern-day humanity: disconnected and distant from each other.