Chinese Facekini Fad Inspires French Fashion Mag Photoshoot

Those freakish “face-kini” masks worn by legions of sun-avoiding Chinese women have made the jump to haute couture thanks to a photoshoot featured in former Vogue Paris editor Carine Roitfeld's new magazine, CR Fashion Book.

Mainly home-made from scraps of worn-out fabric or old swimsuits, multitudes of multicolored masks dubbed facekini or face-kini are a common sight on China's beaches each summer.

Mainly worn by middle-aged women (and occasionally their children), facekinis do double-duty protecting sensitive skin from seaweed blooms and the sun's UV rays. The latter is a big deal, culturally speaking.

“While our summer beauty routines are devoted to bronzing, self-tanning, and tan-extending,” elaborates Roitfeld in the August issue of CR Fashion Book, “in Asia, beauty-seekers are more likely to center theirs around lightening and brightening. A tan does not signify a chic trip to Capri, but it could mean hours of hard labor spent out in the harsh sun.”

If the sight of an unnamed non-Asian model sporting tarted-up facekinis along with a host of expensive jewelry and fashion accessories doesn't seem a tad culturally insensitive, therefore, feel free to color us dazed and confused.

Will the designer facekini catch on among the jet-setters and one-percenters who make up much of CR Fashion Book's readership, or is this just a clever way of raising a buzz about another new fashion mag?

“It looks unbelievably idiotic,” stated the one and only (at press time) commenter at Jing Daily's report, so perhaps it would be wise not to invest your 401K in Facekini futures just yet.