Who needs a statement handbag when a smog mask says it all? Last week during China Fashion Week in Beijing, designer Yin Peng had a thing or two to say about his country’s environmental hazards, which hit an all-time high in October when air pollution increased to over 20 times safe levels. During the QIAODAN Yin Peng fashion show, models strutted their stuff down the runway in the buzziest accessory since the Chanel hula hoop; and just like that, the smog mask was reborn. There were neon ones and striped ones; some that looked like RoboCop and some that resembled menacing ski instructors. After all, variety is paramount when you’re trying to match your face mask to your Vuitton.
Peng’s runway coincided with the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, where officials were locking down pollution control by limiting traffic and shuttering some bad-to-the-bone factories. “From my perspective, no matter how good the outside environment is, the key is how we mix the situation outside with our hearts,” the designer told CNN.
Peng’s models weren’t the only ones sporting gas masks overseas. Earlier, Beijing International Marathon runners wore the face masks to complete the 26.2-mile race on October 19. What has the world come to?