If You Make It, Ballroom Will Bling It

A year into the pandemic and like me, you probably have a nice collection of face masks. Are you the disposal mask type, Etsy shop supporter, or homemade type? I personally have spent most of my face masks dollars with one particular Etsy shop whose masks fit my face Mary Poppins-style (practically perfect).

Toward the end of 2020, I received an email about a new brand who has taken face masks and turned them into an art form. Seriously, wait until you see them!

Introducing The Muse Mask

From the official press release

It’s official, 2020 was the year that face masks became a global necessity. But Japanese brand Muse Mask has crafted a collection of upmarket ballroom, wedding, and party-ready masks that prove staying protected doesn’t mean having to hide your personality.

Each mask was crafted in collaboration with legendary local atelier Hinode. Established in 1985, Hinode is a company that’s made a name for themselves hand-crafting high-quality garments for kabuki stage shows, opera, ballet, drama, musicals, commercials, and concerts across Japan.

The inspiration for the product came from personal experience. “My mother runs a ballroom dance dress shop in Kashiwa City, Chiba Prefecture,” explains Mr. Komori, one of the brand’s founders. “She saw first-hand passionate dancers lose their enthusiasm for ballroom dancing due to the effects of covid, as well as declining sales across dance stores. So she came to me with an idea, and we created a solution.”

After joining forces with atelier Hinode, the team collated their knowledge gained from many years of experience in the performance industry to design this mask collection. From the initial idea to final creation, it took four months of rigorous testing, feedback, and development to create the selection that’s now available.

The result? A collection of 10 handmade, attention-commanding masks that feature spectacular, Austrian, Swarovski glass, hand-dyed lace, and extravagant flourishes ready for the dancefloor. Muse Masks aren’t only beautiful and professional, stage-level quality, but offer comfort and peace of mind for the customer. Each of the masks also features adjustable straps and space for a mask filter for added protection.

“In making the masks, we tried to match the glamorous costumes of the dancefloor and bring them together,” explains Mr. Komori. The team at Muse Mask hopes that their new creation will usher in a fashionable embrace of the new normal of life post-covid and offer customers “a chance to make oneself shine more” while doing what they love and staying safe.

The Muse Mask collection is available in select retail stores in Japan and can be purchased online and shipped internationally. For more information, visit https://themusemask.com/en.

While the pandemic has beaten us down and taken a lot away, it’s also proven how resilient and adaptive we as humans can be. Even we think there’s no way we can do things differently. I remember going to get my hair cut in between shutdowns. It was at a point when masks were only starting to become a thing and while the hairdressers wore masks, the clients were not. I remember a hairdresser commenting that you just can’t give a good haircut with the mask on, it just wasn’t possible. Fast forward a few months and I’m back in between yet another set of shutdowns. Everyone is wearing masks and the clients are removing one ear loop at a time and holding their mask on, while their hairdresser worked on that side. So much for impossible!

The ballroom world had similar reservations about wearing masks while dancing. Aside from being uncomfortable, the dancers just wouldn’t look as good with a mask covering half of their face. Something would taken away from the aesthetic, which was part of the whole ballroom experience.

With masks like these from Muse Mask, I don’t think that will be a problem!


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