One of my favorite things to do during lockdown is look for masks — the more unique, the better. Although I do have a few hi-tech masks, I have more masks that convey a message, whatever that message may be.
However, my most favorite masks are the ones that have animals on them. And, it was a pleasant surprise to find such masks among the ones that fashion designer Rhett Eala makes.
I started getting masks from Rhett when I discovered his IG. He had many unique designs and I liked the fact that if I bought a mask, a portion of the proceeds would be donated to frontliners. That started my daily habit of checking on what new masks he had.
And then, one day I discovered that he made embroidered masks with animals. It was love at first sight. The designs were so beautiful.
"I got Dassy, an 11-year-old German Shepherd who belonged to my only and younger brother, Dennis, when he passed on of a heart attack two years ago," said Eala. "I like Dassy because she is loyal and protective of her masters."
Read on and discover a little more about the designer and his masks with animals.
PHILIPPINE STAR: Do you like dogs?
RHETT EALA: Yes, I love dogs.
Have you made any clothes for Dassy?
If you could have another pet, what would it be?
I have always wanted a Corgi dog.
Has Dassy been a good companion during the lockdown?
Yes, she’s been keeping us company.
What was it like to have a pet during the lockdown?
It was a bit difficult in the beginning because she wasn’t allowed out even to take small walks, but now that it's GCQ it’s easier for her to explore the park.
When did you start making masks with animals?
I started making embroidered animal masks about two months ago.
What inspired you to make them?
I just wanted to do something more unique with the masks and use the embroidery skills of my sewers.
What is your fave animal?
I love dogs.
Is it easy to find fabric as nice as the ones for your masks?
I used up all the remnants from my clothes. Some are sourced locally from the north; some are from Mindanao.