Face Couture Explores The Transformative Power Of Masks

<p>Brazilian Felipe Caprestano introduces a collection of head ornaments and we talked with him to learn more about it.</p>

Aside from the skier and bank robber demographics, masks never really made a lot of progress in the fashion market. That is, until we had something to hide from. We’ve seen masks that pixelate your face for CCTV cameras, as well as make up and accessory tips for fooling facial recognition software, but this is something a little different.

Fascinated by the power of transformation contained in fashion accessories, Felipe Caprestano set out to manufacture his own line of masks that push the boundaries of contemporary fashion. Rather than conventional masks, he produced a series of headpieces using parts of other clothing items, calling it Face Couture Project. Let’s hope no one wore those pants before that model started wearing them on his face.

Caprestano documents the creative process of Face Couture Project, his references, and his inspirations on a blog, complete with animated GIFs, pictures of his workspace, photos of exhibits he visits, and magazines, in addition to film scenes and videos produced for Face Couture.

We talked with Felipe about the project and the importance technology in developing his work.

The Creators Project: You've been dedicating yourself to this project for two years now. Where does this fascination with masks come from?
Felipe Caprestano:
I've always been interested in ornaments, both facial and head ones, in how they can dramatically change a person's identity and how they're interpreted by society. From a haircut to a pair of sunglasses, they can influence not only the attitude of those who incorporate them, but also of those who see them.

Anyone can follow your creative process online on your blog. Is the process as important as the final result? Why?
For me, the process and the result are not separated. When I think of a piece, I don't imagine it ready and then start finding a technique and figure out how I should produce it. Most often that can be frustrating. I think of how I can bring that idea to reality by using techniques and materials I have available, and then I start refining it. Sharing that process is not only interesting from a documenting point of view, but it's also a way of checking those steps off the list and moving on with the piece.

How is the use of technology essential for your work?
Technically, building the pieces is a very old-school activity, but what makes technology essential is the environment I can immerse myself in when I'm working. From recording ideas online to looking for references and even the music I may be listening to, everything is supported by the resources we have available today. The possibility of putting myself in a state of isolation in a productive routine, and still being able to communicate and perform other tasks is something I would never be able to do in such a functional way in other times.

Photos by: Humberto Furtado