What are Cambridge Masks Doing in a London School of Fashion Collection?
Joel Yip, a BA (Hons) Bespoke Tailoring Final Year Student is here to tell you.
At the London School of Fashion, students must learn how to use the subject of fashion, together with its industrial importance. This is needed as to shape lives and drive economic and social transformation. Joel Yip is a final year undergraduate student focusing on bespoke tailoring. Since fashion ecology, building a sustainable future and improving the way we live is at the core of his studies, Joel came with an interesting idea. He reached out to Cambridge Mask Company with a request for sponsored pollution masks he could incorporate in his final project in fashion.
In fact, our masks are skillfully designed by a graduate of Fashion and Design, and what makes us stand out from the respirator crowd is Cambridge Mask Co.’s focus on creating a functional product with a stylish flair. So of course, we were happy to oblige with Joel’s request and excited to see what inspiration he would take from our product.
As of right now, we can give you a sneak peek into the planning stages of his designs. With his prototypes in place and his motivations mapped out, let’s take a little look at what’s evolving in this designer’s workshop.
Combining fashion and healthy mask
Joel’s idea was conceptualised by thinking about fashion in the future landscape, so he decided to combine style and functionality into clothing by reaching out to sponsors such as Cambridge Mask Co. for a collaboration:
“When coming up with the line-up, I decided that instead of just making clothes for adults, I wanted to include younger wearers as well, as the health and safety of our future generation is just as crucial as ours. These include children and adolescents of various ages.”
Also read: "When should you wear a pollution mask?"
We share in Joel’s concerns and were able to provide Joel with masks that fit children as young as 1.5 years of age. The dangers of air pollution in infants and children are heightened as their lungs are still developing. Around 80% of alveoli (the tiny air sacs in your lungs which transfer the oxygen you breath into your bloodstream) develop after birth. Damage to the lungs at this early stage could create critical health problems in the future. The immune system of a child is also still developing, making young people much more susceptible to respiratory infections.
While it is natural and usually non-threatening that a typically healthy child may catch a cold now and then, we are finding each flu season increasingly tricky to manage. With the global health scares in recent years of SARS
, Avian Influenza
and Swine Influenza
, it is no wonder that the students of today are concerned with how to protect the next generation from airborne diseases.
When buying a health product, our customers are going to take their time trawling through online reviews of a similar item. This needed to find the best match for their needs. We receive various requests from customers for specialised masks for motorbike helmet wearers or balaclava style designs fashion mask. Joel has thought up a similar idea and run with it in this particular look:
“I developed with the help and advice of my design and tailoring tutors a hooded feature on a jacket that incorporates the Cambridge mask as part of a hood on a garment. There were several stages of pattern manipulation and testing to evolve the aesthetic and practicality of this feature.”
Most of us can only imagine the hours of work it must have taken to perfect this piece. However, our own designer had spent an immense amount of time creating the carefully customised fit when wearing our masks. The designer had painstakingly designed to mold to the contours of the wearer’s face snugly.
The mask will not be completely effective filtering 99.7% of the particulate matter unless it fits correctly. So adding another seemingly simple element, such as a hood, can create a whole host of problems. As it will challenge the needs to find the balance between the style and functionality of the product. This especially given that people’s shapes and body types vary so widely:
“One interesting modification came about in the form of an accordion collar stand. This allows you to pull the hood over the head, even if only you use part of the hood. This is for more protection and coverage. This also helps with adjustments for different sized heads. This will enable more wearers across the board to fit the garment and wear the mask comfortably.”
Fashion and Mask for all
When creating a product, one must always think of the target market. We’re in the business of helping people, no matter their age, gender or size. This is why it is important we have a variety of products to meet a range of people’s needs. As Joel focused on creating a collection to fit the whole family, he came up with a clever concept as:
“Apart from jackets, I have recently decided to incorporate the hood with the Cambridge mask onto capes or capelets. This will do specifically for children and toddlers who are constantly growing and require a continuous change of clothes. Imagine there is a cape that fits children as they grow. Then, children will allow to wear the garments over a longer period of time. And, it even comes with features in the hood which can adjust to their growing head sizes as well.”
Although he’s still playing with a few different ideas, we’ve loved seeing his thought process so far. We’ll touch base with Joel later on in June to look at his final pieces and products as a whole.