Gas masks can be chic? Every pundit with an opinion and every news junkie capable of parroting a pundit’s opinion have been decrying the proliferation of violent conflict erupting all over the planet. Wars in the Middle East (always a reliable standby), trouble at America’s southern border, civil war in Ukraine, unrest in Libya, Nigeria and Thailand, plus a ton of other skirmishes simmering or gearing up almost everywhere you look could easily dishearten the most optimistic of souls.
This profusion of pain and suffering begs one simple question: Where is a diehard fashionista to look for inspiration these days?
Not the question you were expecting? Too bad. Suck it up, and strut down that runway anyway, gunshot or not …
If you’re the type of person who tends to read a headline about a world tragedy and mutter, “Oh, that’s too bad,” and then immediately forget what you’ve just read because you don’t know where that place is (bad news always distracts you from the style section), this article is definitely for you. Conflict zones are now churning out their own version of haute couture, which means you and your trendy friends can be culturally empathetic while still maintaining your veneer of voguish cool.
Designer combat gear may soon make its way to Israel in the shape of “chic” gas masks. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, considering the amount of technological innovation and unrest this volatile region generates on a consistent basis. Israeli designer Zlil Lazarovich has come up with the “social gas masks.” In a nutshell, it’s a mask meant to calm a family down under a chemical or biological weapons attack by providing a safe, effective, yet modish form of protection.
According to Lazarovich’s website, her design could potentially aid with, “psychological coping during emergency situations. The large eyepiece, the cheeky filters and small mouth opening are working together to offer an empowering image and a positive experience.” In other words, if you’re being attacked with gas, you and your family can slip your gas masks on and still look like a human being — rather than Darth Vader.
If gas isn’t a problem in the conflict zone you inhabit — or model your fashion after — how about a dress with a front zipper for easy access to your arsenal of guns? Designer Sarah Church has come up with a line of front-zipper gun dresses, which have been showcased in the very hip (and mostly likely holster hip) Firearms Fashion Show. Her trendsetting garments not only ensure that a modern, discerning female has quick access to her concealed firepower, but that she also looks great while blasting away. Red might be a bold choice here, but if you ask me, that’s the way to go. Blood stains are a bitch to get out.
If you only want a hint of wartime danger when you hit the town, you could always opt for bullet or shotgun shell chain cuff links, which are available for men who don’t like to boast too loudly about how badass they think they are — but still would like to boast a little.
One of the most unusual, yet practical examples of high fashion in an often deadly world can be seen in Miguel Caballero — the man and his company, which tailors bulletproof clothing for stylish gentleman. From sleek vests (considering the stopping power) and armored T-shirts to smart-looking jackets, Caballero will kit you out for your business trips to Colombia and beyond, all the while providing you with lifesaving ballistic protection. And best of all, you don’t have to even live in Bogotá (where Caballero hails from) in order to take advantage of his combat chic. The store ships globally.
Yes, it’s a dangerous world, but that doesn’t mean you can’t look good while defending your life — or wreaking havoc on others. The consumer asks, and the market answers.