Ýrúrarí Takes Tongue-in-Cheek Approach to Face Masks

Textile artist Ýr Jóhannsdóttir, who designs under the name Ýrúrarí, is making headlines for her playful and unorthodox face masks in the time of COVID-19. The artist and her “trippy” 3D knitwear masks were recently featured in Vogue.

Twenty-seven-year-old Ýr, who learned how to knit as a child in school, began to pursue her craft in earnest at Scotland’s Glasgow School of Art. She’s built a strong following on Instagram, largely through repurposing second-hand sweaters that she then knits eye-catching—or perhaps better said, mouth-watering—decorations onto.

Ýrúrarí, Facebook

See Also: Breaking the Pattern: Tongues are wagging over Ýr Jóhannsdóttir’s mouthy sweaters

Ýr favours tongues and mouths in her sweater décor, so it seems only natural that she’d leap to lippy, tongue-dangling knit masks. “…[I] love knitting with my hands,” she told Vogue, “and I always go back to strange faces.” She gravitates to tongues and teeth she said, “Maybe because they are kind of rude, sticky, and strange.”

There is no government requirement to wear masks in Iceland as a COVID-19 precaution, and Ýr emphasizes that her creations are strictly art pieces, and “not made for safety.” It took her two days to make her first mask, noted Vogue—or rather, a “mouth plug” featuring a long, stuck-out tongue that could be used as a “cheeky add-on to a regular mask.”

Ýrúrarí, Facebook

Ýr’s approach is certainly tongue-in-cheek: “Idea for a knitted add on to your face masks,” she wrote in her first mask-related Facebook post. “[M]ight also encourage people to stay away from you…”

Men of the Cloth

Steps above the crowded Laugavegur street, the workshop of Kormákur and Skjöldur Men’s Boutique provides a cushy haven: hefty rolls of fabric rise in piles, and fine suit jackets in various stages of completion line the walls. Sounds are dampened, but there’s plenty to see – and touch. In the middle of the room, tailors Birna Sigurjónsdóttir and Rakel Ýr Leifsdóttir share a high table. They’re making a bespoke suit for artist Ragnar Kjartansson.

Herrafataverzlun Kormáks og Skjaldar, as it is known in Icelandic, has only been dressing men in Iceland since 1996, but their timeless selection of menswear suggests a much longer tradition. Pick up any one item – a wool suit, a Barbour jacket, or a plaid accessory (there is no shortage of plaid on offer) – and the first adjective that comes to mind is “classic.” Yet the suit lying on the table in this workshop is the first fruit of a remarkably innovative project – a quest to make high-quality tweed out of Icelandic wool.

This content is only visible under subscription. Subscribe here or log in.

Continue reading