Courtesy of Joe Doucet

If you’re using the galaxy brain meme to explain facial PPE, then it goes like this: stage one (ordinary brain), covering your mouth with a scarf; stage two (worldly enlightenment), wearing a face mask; and finally stage three (universe-enfolding Vitruvian Man), going all in with a face shield. At least, that’s according to one medical expert, who may or may not have used such an impactful visual metaphor to explain his point.

“I think every person should have a face shield,” esteemed epidemiologist Michael Edmond told Dezeen last week. “It should be worn anytime they leave their home, while in any public place, and even at work. I believe that if every person wore a face shield when out of their home, we would bend the curve faster and return to normal life sooner.”

Of course, the reality is a little different. Not only are facial shields hard to come by, but they’re also ungainly and kinda awkward to wear. Enter Joe Doucet, the bold New York designer who has dared to dream a reality where face shields are both comfortable and every bit as fashionable as a silk Hermes scarf. I mean, check out the integrated sunglasses!

Courtesy of Joe Doucet

Asking the question of “how do we encourage mass adoption of an unwanted necessity?” Doucet created renderings of models wearing the steezy PPE in deserted streets. The images are dope, if not slightly jarring at first — a bit like looking at screenshots of a Halo expansion pack for The Sims. His intentions, however, are in the right place.

“Covid-19 is understandably going to have a longterm effect on how we re-engage with daily activities and the wider world,” says Doucet. “Until a vaccination is confirmed to be effective and rolled out through a global, mass immunization program, we all will have to integrate forms of social distancing and PPE into our daily routines.”

Whether fashion week will get back underway again in its previous guise is doubtful, but if it does, we’re thinking these could prove as popular as a Bottega Veneta clutch. Of course, some folk in Milano were already ahead of the game in Y-3 last year. No surprise there.