Fashion talk with The Bean

Max Bean, Contributing Writer

With all of this talk of “COVID-19” and constant reminders that “IF UNABLE TO SOCIAL DISTANCE, PREPARE TO MASK,” I believe it’s time to talk about a pressing issue that hasn’t really been explored in any of the news or entertainment I have been watching. 

In all of the updates and school news that has occurred since the beginning of this semester, it has hardly registered that new winds of fashion have blown through our compact campus. As an average-looking manlet who wears nothing but cargoes, t-shirts and sandals all day, I have no prior experience nor knowledge on fashion trends, but I feel as if I am completely qualified to give out tips and tricks on the subject, much like every other “expert” on fashion today. 

For starters, many students have opted to use the University MakerSpace to 3D-print their school clothes. Sweaters, jackets, t-shirts and even pants and socks are now being made using high-grade special 3D-printing filament. I even started making my own pair of mittens for the winter with the MakerSpace. The only downside is that they offer only light weather protection and little-to-no comfort whatsoever. A rather small price to pay for looking fashionable, I’d say. The 3-D printed masks are another conversation altogether, especially when it ties into another big University fashion trend that’s skyrocketing in popularity. 

As of recently, people are weaving and crafting their own homemade masks. Once a cottage industry of individuals working with common cloth, these fashionable necessities are now being crafted all over campus with fun, crazy patterns like cowskin, cactus, puzzle pieces, daisies, Mechazoid 3000, AquWater®, human, Nietzsche, Pink Mechazoid 3000 (for the ladies) and plaid.

More expensive masks have been shipped in from other countries. Have you ever wanted a mask made from llama fur? The expertly peeled-and-stitched skin of 57 pea pods? Have you ever observed the feathers of the average New York City pigeon, and found yourself thinking “if only that could be on my face?” These projects represent the newest landmark in the fashion industry itself, and it’s all hot stuff at the University! Bye-bye mink — hello monkey! 

Modern trends notwithstanding, regular University students have taken up the charge to change the dress-culture both in and out of the classroom. I actually managed to talk to one of the students after their thrice-daily zoom class. Here’s what he had to say: “Oh sh[oo]t! I’m still wearing pajamas?!” Another student reported that they “walked past like 20 people, why did you wait until now to tell me I was in my underwear?” Clearly, these trendsetters are eager to display their daring and bold attire during these trying and stressful times. Perhaps that’s a lesson we should all learn during this turbulent era of fashion fluctuation: that things change.

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