Highsnobiety

Late summer usually means T-shirts and shorts for regular folks. For Kanye West, it's mask season. Technically, it began last winter, but between all the quilted balaclavas and opaque shrouds, we've barely seen Yeezy's face at all during the past month's DONDA explosion.

Heck, he wouldn't even take his face covering off while doing backstage pushups.

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So, what does it all mean? Who knows. I could get all philosophical and relate Kanye's desire to shroud his face onstage as an oblique reference to the Dionysian dual persona or perhaps a reflection of the introspective lyrics heard on DONDA (more on those in a sec).

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It may even be an evolution of the Margiela masks from the YEEZUS tour. But who's to say, besides Kanye himself.

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What I can say is that mask fever may have brought Kanye and Kim Kardashian back together, if only fleetingly. Last night, Kim uploaded an image of a zippered Balenciaga gimp mask — either bespoke or from an upcoming collection — that she wore to Yeezy's listening event on August 5 as her way of getting in on the face-obscuring action.

Now, Kim's wore a red version of this fetish-y Balenciaga get-up just this past Halloween but the new black iteration does insinuate something particularly interesting. Bear with me, this is pure speculation like most things related to Kanye.

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Given the rocky circumstances under which 'Ye and Kim recently separated — plenty of DONDA lyrics reportedly reflect this — you'd think there'd be some bad blood, to say the least.

Perhaps Kim is more forgiving to the man who fathered her kids than the tabloids would let you believe or the pair actually are happy to be friends.

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Whatever the case, nothing stopped Kim from not only showing up to both Atlanta listening events but boosting them on social media (not that they needed any additional buzz) and even bringing the former couple's kids to spend some quality time with their facemasked father.

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The fact that Kim's mirroring Kanye's facial fashion with gear masterminded by Demna Gvasalia — the same guy who lent creative direction to Kanye's event — is nothing if not indicative of lasting bonds.

Kim's Balenciaga-fication also played a major role in her scoring the People's Choice Awards' Fashion Icon of 2021 — thanks, Kanye, very cool.

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