Bernard Brode
Bernard Brode

From Israel With Love – Pandemic-Influenced Designs

Let’s take a break from cybersecurity and nanotechnology for a moment and contemplate one of the most important things in life – clothes.

In case you haven’t been paying attention, there’s been a little thing known as Covid-19 going around the last few years. Those in the know call it a pandemic. But people still wear clothes and now they wear masks also.

With the threat of infection remaining high, we’re urged to cover our faces when we go outside. Never content to shy away from an opportunity to make a statement, many Israeli fashion designers have taken notice of the need for more protective (and stylish) clothing to keep us safe as we go about our daily business.

Like many others, Israel’s economy has taken a beating during Covid due to travel restrictions both at home and abroad. How to bring back a business boom? Israeli fashion Designers are looking for ways to use creative designs that kill the germs but still look great.

Influences from the Pandemic

The middle of a pandemic isn’t intuitively a great time to roll out cutting-edge fashionwear but it seems that a global sick out can be an effective design influence.

Some of the designs created by these fashionistas include:

  • A long green and black coat with an attached mask and hood and tail that wraps around the wearer to keep them safe inside. There’s even a built-in pocket for your phone.
  • Jackets made from a tightly woven fabric let air in but keep germs out, especially when you add a protective mesh over it. Those who want something softer can opt for sleeves lined with soft cotton terry cloth instead of nylon or polyester. This makes it easier to remove without snagging your skin on hard stitching or rough edges. The exterior is water-resistant so if you do happen to encounter a little rain while wearing this jacket, rest assured nothing will get in through the seams.
  • A cowl neck dress with a built-in mask and hood make any fashionista feel like she’s ready to walk the red carpet. There is an attached belt that can be adjusted for those who want it tighter around their waists or looser should they prefer more room to breathe while wearing this stylish ensemble. There are also pockets on both sides of the waist if you need them and zippers at the wrists so your hands don’t get too warm as you go about your day.

Don’t Forget the Accessories

No good fashion moment is complete without a handbag, even in a pandemic. These days handbags have turned up the technology to not only keep the wearer protected while she’s out doing errands but incorporate a growing array of technology tidbits as well.

  • Consider the black leather handbag with a large flap that covers most of it to protect against the elements, including the interior which is lined with water-resistant material. It can be wiped clean using antibacterial wipes without fear of ruining its finish. If you don’t want something shiny or sporty looking for your outfit then opt for matte satin or suede instead.
  •  Even before Covid headlined every news outlet around the world (back in 2018) legendary handbag line Louis Vitton got the idea to build technology right into the bag. Bluetooth tech so you don’t need cords? Check. Built-in charging facilities so you don’t spend 90 percent of your day looking for a place to charge your phone? Check. Video screen built into the fabric? Check.

How does all this tech play into the pandemic mindset? In a word – preparedness. Bags are also getting bigger in order to incorporate things like masks, wipes, and a week’s worth of rations.

Why Is This Worth Writing About?

Even as Israel moves into a fourth national round of vaccinations, the economy continues to sputter to life. And despite current European efforts to re-enter a lockdown phase – which is being met with violent resistance in some quarters – we can’t stay inside forever, can we?

Get out there and buy some clothes! One thing the fashionistas should keep in mind was raised by an article on the Marie Claire website – has the pandemic changed what we look for in clothes? After a year in lockdown wearing loose sweats and a variety of other comfy and often decidedly unfashionable attire, will we ever be able to go back to those icky office clothes? 

Fashion psychologist (yep, they do exist) Shakaila Forbes-Bell made the following observation: “The pandemic has caused a shift in the way people engage with their clothing. With lockdowns forcing us to stay indoors, the lack of social feedback put the focus on how clothes made us feel rather than their ascetic value.”

In other words, fashion lines might be forced to give up their high-falutin ways and design clothes that meet the average consumer in the middle where comfort is king. 

Final Thoughts

And even now, as mega-companies like Google and Apple make plans for workers to return to the workplace, don’t expect to see towering high-heels on anyone’s feet. It’s all going to be about comfort going forward. After all, we just went through a pandemic. We’re living in the shadow of a deadly virus every moment of every day. No need to be uncomfortable while doing it.

About the Author
Bernard Brode is a nanotechnology product researcher and believes that it might end up being the biggest tech story of all time.
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