Fashion

Hey, Heart, It's Really Not Time to Post PPE Fashion Statements on the Internet

There really isn't a right time, either.
ILLUSTRATOR WARREN ESPEJO
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Fashion has been repeatedly dismissed as a frivolous and superficial pursuit, a model of consumerist materialism. But, when you get down to it, fashion reflects identity, speaks of history, and also provides millions of jobs. Fashion is a real industry. 

Like any industry, it has been disrupted by the coronavirus outbreak, but it has also successfully made itself useful by creating masks and personal protective equipment for medical workers and frontliners. By doing so, it surprised those who expected the "frivolous pursuit" to capitalize on the outbreak by making fashion statements out of the whole crisis.

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While fashion companies continue to do good, there are some elements that are doing the opposite. COVID-19 has become a new normal for all of us, and already fashion influencers are turning the situation into a parade of outfits.

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Heart Evangelista, for one, has moved past her repurposed ribbon masks, and on to PPEs paired with a Prabal Gurung suit, Chanel accessories, and some Hermès for good measure. In one of the posts, Evangelista says she's "getting ready for the new normal."

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Many have criticized Evangelista's insensitivity to those who can't afford PPEs, while others are saying that she has donated a lot for pandemic relief to be spared of scrutiny.

But, the fact that COVID-19 has killed hundreds of thousands still remains. In a country that hasn't flattened the curve, much less passed the first wave (as of May 21, the Philippines has 13,434 confirmed cases with 846 deaths), it's a tone-deaf move. This, along with the fact that health workers and frontliners are still in need of PPEs, is enough of a reason not to flaunt "new normal looks."

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Another argument brought up by a number of Twitter users is that Evangelista was actually promoting the use of proper safety equipment. To this we say, a simple mask selfie would have sufficed.

We know it was all for show because no matter how rich you are, you're definitely not slathering Lysol on your P900,000 Hermès bag. At a time when fashion is taking a step back from the spotlight, it would be wise to think if what you're doing makes sense.

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