A KALTBLUT exclusive. Text, Mask, Artistic Direction & Photography by Jase King. Model is Oualid Ait Sali. Brands are Viaggi By Jase King and pieces from the Artistic Director’s archives.
“Created from imagination during self-isolation, I yearned for a world where fantastical masks replaced surgical ones. Fashion is societal and art is an expression of society.
As an artist, it is important to tell this story through my eyes, at a time when the world is going through a global pandemic. With sustainability at the forefront, I upcycled and reused materials that were only available to me at home during self-isolation and quarantine.
Each statement piece is immaculately crafted by hand. Individually they represent a different character of my mind. “Agent Saboteur” is the only creature in all black. It brings forth the inner voices and self-doubts that consume us from within.
In “Puck” the forest creature from the book, A Midsummers Night Dream, I visualised him in the year 2020, encapsulating the whimsy of his home in the woodlands into the architecture of the mask. Donning the various masks, I photographed a series of self-portraits as a way to escape the confines of four walls, to reimagine and build my own universe. Unexpectedly, during the photography process, I realised that while the masks spoke volumes aesthetically, it was also a muzzle muting my speaking voice.
As the days turned into weeks and months, I knew that when we were able to go back into a society that I wanted to photograph my masks on an amputee that dons prosthetics, in hopes to continue to challenge the stereotypical definition of beauty. As an artistic director in Paris working with various brands and companies, I have cast many amputees in fashion shows. However, there is still more work to be done to change the minds of people in the business, to reiterate that the words, diversity and inclusion, are not just spoken words thrown around frivolously in fashion, nor should it be treated as a passing trend.
Now more than ever, it is paramount to amplify voices of minorities that are not represented equally in fashion or anywhere else.
Through the process of creating these masks from humble beginnings, it has now evolved into something greater. A political statement urging people to be aware of their surroundings and to other fellow human beings.”