In Paris, Haute Couture Face Masks for All


The seamstresses of Chanel, Dior and more shaped a network to make face masks in quarantine. They’re no longer done operating together.A linen dress stitched via seamstresses of the Tissuni collective, many of them from couture properties like Chanel and Dior.There are disposable mask got in bulk: faded blue, three-ply, fastened with white elastic hoops. There are D.I.Y. mask, stitched at home, and designer mask, sold for $10 or $a hundred.Then there are masks made by a collective of the world’s most elite couturières: the seamstresses of Chanel, Dior and Saint Laurent, among others, who spent lockdown making more than 3,000 of them — a limited variation of sorts.But the ones masks are no longer for sale, and the americans dressed in them are now not influencers or celebrities. They are now not the type who, pre-pandemic, sat in the front row at Paris Fashion Week, wearing a mask plastered with bright white Chanel camellias. They are the city’s nurses, bakers and firefighters. And that distinction is vital to the masks’ makers.Their collective, called Tissuni (a portmanteau of the French words for “united cloth”), changed into founded in March through Marie Beatrice Boyer, a seamstress at Chanel.This was early on in the pandemic, a few days until now American designers like Christian Siriano began sewing masks from home. Ms. Boyer, 36, had heard from a midwife friend that a clinic in Grenoble turned into employing fabric coverings to preserve its surgical mask.She enlisted a few fellow Chanel seamstresses, and they started out coming up prototypes. On March 18, the day after Paris’s lockdown started out, Ms. Boyer bought the Tissuni domain name.Since then, the collective has grown to more than a hundred members, according to Ms. Boyer. Many are haute couture seamstresses; in addition to Chanel, Dior and Saint Laurent, they come from Jean Paul Gaultier, Schiaparelli and the Paris Opera.They made their mask from private material supplies, and while those were depleted, used ancient curtains, pillowcases and clothes.

They donated the masks to sanatorium workers, however also to law enforcement and Paris’s “front line”: cashiers, start individuals, taxi drivers.ImageTissuniDemand grew beyond the collective’s capabilities. “Sometimes we acquired more than 2 hundred requests per day,” Ms. Boyer said.The collective become adamant approximately now not charging for the masks (though some recipients may be offering fee as thanks).

As the lockdown continued, Ms. Boyer watched as mask making shifted from a good, neighborly deed into a “commercial initiative.”“What offends us is to see luxury brands selling cloth mask for more than $100, and to advertise them,” she said.Her desire for more accessible couture changed into channeled into Tissuni’s next offering, in mid-May: an open-source layout for a clothe pattern. It was a summer dress, with a prime neck, cap sleeves and drop waist, made with linen from northern France.It turned into white, however Tissuni referred to as it the “little green dress,” winking at the sustainability inherent in making one’s own clothes at home. It was an test in so-called slow fashion, a movement aiming to reduce waste. More recently, though, Ms. Boyer has again to work, targeted on the next Chanel choice, which will be presented in a digital demonstrate on July 7.In the weeks most neatly known up to the couture shows, the petites mains of the Paris couture properties, like Ms. Boyer, can spend hundreds of hours of hunched-over exertions on a single clothe.

They’re famend for their potential in making intricate garments, tapping into what Ms. Boyer known as “ancestral know-how, passed down from generation to generation of seamstresses.”Yet making mask gave her an absolutely new perspective on fashion.“You observe that a basic piece of material, neatly cut, can have a direct impact on individuals’s lives,” she said. “We will never visit a more desirable selection than that of all the mask made and disbursed unfastened of charge by way of all the seamstresses and dressmakers from all properties and all regions.”

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