Chinese Lunar NY Mask – USA

As rave culture sweeps through the US, with it comes its very own sartorial slant. The UK had glow-sticks, Australia frilly flares, Germany rave-gothica. By means of catch up, the US has accessorised by re-appropriating Chinese Lunar new year ceremonial masks. This decorative head piece has been remixed for the dance-floor, taken from the ethnic festivity and applied to dance culture. Bold misappropriation or frivolous re-purposing? We’ll not be discussing that here.

Why Lunar masks? Well, once stripped of the symbolism and iconic tradition attached to each mask, you’re left with a pretty awesome headpiece. Combining slick accessorising and anonymity.

The masks cover the whole head or upper face. On the outside, a peacocking eye magnet; glossed papier-mâché and intricate design work of nouveau haute couture. On the inside, an anonymous raver, identity carefully stowed away. And for good reason.

These parties are attended by high ranking Silicon Valley executives. Exclusive parties fizzed from the psychedelic remnants of Steve Jobs, Bill Gates et al. A casual observer stumbling across one of these bashes might mistake it for an Illuminati pageant; the ornate hardware, the secretiveness, the 1% clique, the parking lot full of Tesla’s… If it wasn’t for the repetitive beats oozing from the sound system, it’d reek of a Skull & Bones initiation ceremony.

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