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New pandemic 'twin set': Designers make masks to match your outfit


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Niall Tyrrell's matching mask design

Niall Tyrrell's matching mask design

Creation: Couturier Niall Tyrrell’s ‘twin set’ of silk and georgette shirt dress and matching double lined mask

Creation: Couturier Niall Tyrrell’s ‘twin set’ of silk and georgette shirt dress and matching double lined mask

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Niall Tyrrell's matching mask design

Recommended but not compulsory, face masks take on a new importance in our lives from today.

The inevitable next step will be the integration of protective masks into our day-to-day dressing attire, and this weekend saw the launch of a new look 'twin set' featuring a protective mask and matching dress with embroidered embellishment on the sides.

Couturier Niall Tyrrell came up with the 'twin set' name after responding to client requests for masks matching dresses he had already made for them.

He has dressed everyone from former President Mary McAleese for the visit of Queen Elizabeth in 2011 to singer Enya, who he dressed for the 2002 Oscars.

Traditionally a 'twin set' is a short cardigan worn over a matching jumper and the chic, classic look was made popular by Coco Chanel.

Mr Tyrrell predicts a new style routine will emerge and that "masks are going to be an essential accessory".

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Creation: Couturier Niall Tyrrell’s ‘twin set’ of silk and georgette shirt dress and matching double lined mask

Creation: Couturier Niall Tyrrell’s ‘twin set’ of silk and georgette shirt dress and matching double lined mask

Creation: Couturier Niall Tyrrell’s ‘twin set’ of silk and georgette shirt dress and matching double lined mask

"There will come a day when people are dressing up again and entering social distancing situations where they need a mask so I decided on the twin set to go alongside the plain fabric masks I have been making," he says.

This concept of matching masks to occasion-wear has already caught the attention of wedding parties who, having cancelled one date, are now struggling to plan for a later date without knowing what the health advice and rules on social distancing will be.

Designer Jennifer Rothwell has extended her concept of wearable art into masks.

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A Jennifer Rothwell design

A Jennifer Rothwell design

A Jennifer Rothwell design

The Dubliner is famous for her striking prints of the iconic stained glass windows by artist Harry Clarke.

She has masks to match her dresses, tunics and kimonos in the stained glass prints as well as her 'Humming Bird' and 'Ocean Underworld' prints.

She is currently working on a VIP commission for 200 Harry Clarke print masks which are sustainable with zero waste and are printed and made in Ireland.

"I've even been asked to do swimwear with a mask to match," said Ms Rothwell, who has taken on 14 staff to cope with the orders.

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Helen Steel's dark palm print

Helen Steel's dark palm print

Helen Steel's dark palm print

Meanwhile, artist and fashion designer Helen Steele has produced a limited edition range of eco cotton masks in the 'Dark Palm' print used in her SS20 collection of dresses.

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Erica Cody wears Helen Steele dark palm print dress

Erica Cody wears Helen Steele dark palm print dress

Erica Cody wears Helen Steele dark palm print dress

Selling them on Instagram, she introduces new prints every Wednesday and is developing a line of scarves with matching masks for the autumn.

Eoin Dillon, of the Reuben Avenue label, had masks and matching silk loungewear available in January.

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Reuben Avenue mask

Reuben Avenue mask

Reuben Avenue mask

A quick responder, he expanded his range of silk and linen masks to six colours.

Irish Independent