Bella Hadid wears Lace Latex Dress from Atsuko Kudo

On Wednesday, Bella Hadid attended the Victoria’s Secret Angels Viewing Party 2017 in New York wearing this Lady P Long Evening Dress by Atsuko Kudo.

 

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Bella Hadid has worn Atsuko Kudo before, that time a plain black Paris Cup Pencil Dress. Both are stunning in their own right, but the fine lacework of this pearl sheen red dress pushes it into the upmost tier of luxury of what is already an upscale boutique latex brand.

Atsuko Kudo considers the lace effect latex as seen here to be one of her signature innovations, and we think it makes the nature and origin of the material slightly more subtle – an extra step in the direction towards couture and away from fetish. This applies to non-black and patterned latex in general, but the design here is particularly delicate and classy.

We wonder why patterned latex has not made more inroads into showbiz fashion, being aware of only one previous occasion when it was worn: by Kelly Brook back in 2009.

 

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With the positive reception for Bella and her gorgeous and elegant dress on Wednesday, who knows, she may just spark an interest in a different sort of latex.

 

 

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Q&A with Rebecca Allsop of Yummy Gummy Latex

Yummy Gummy Latex is a latex clothing design and sheeting manufacturer from the UK, run by Rebecca Allsop. They are best known for their hand-poured sheeting production process, which results in latex with eye-catching effects, such as glitter colours, marbled (multi-coloured) latex, textures, print-effect and other patterns.

Besides using this sheeting for their own clothing, Yummy Gummy’s distinctive and colourful effects have made it a popular source for latex sheeting for other latex clothing designers.

This is blogger Kyle Selina’s second Q&A after his previous with Simon Rose of Libidex.

 

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Can you provide a short bio of your background in fashion?

I have no fashion background as such. I think I did one term for Fashion Design Tech at year 9 before changing modules to Dance. Much like Simon from Libidex I am a Psychology graduate from Coventry University.

After university, I found myself a job in a wedding dress shop and loved every minute of helping brides try on different styles and find their dress. Soon after, I was given the knowledge of how to make sheets of latex from liquid latex and my natural creativeness and interest in fashion took over and Yummy Gummy was born.

How did you discover latex as a material to use in fashion?  Did you have a personal interest in wearing latex or was it just a material that you found interesting?

The person that gave me the latex knowledge had some bits of sheet latex hanging around which I wasn’t very impressed with. It was only through him showing me what it was and telling me how people made clothes from it that I discovered the things you could do with it. At first, I didn’t like wearing latex, but that might have been because all there was to try was a moulded bodysuit, but at another photoshoot I was introduced to glued latex.

The bodysuit was very very tight. I couldn’t get it past my knees and I had to be shoehorned in. I was terrified of it not fitting. I now know that it was a totally normal experience and fit, but to start with it was a bit daunting not being able to dress myself. I loved the way it felt, though, and felt totally comfortable prancing around in a wood in heelless shoes in it for the rest of the day.

It is an incredibly moreish material. Whether you’re making or buying, you always have the next outfit you want lined up almost before you’ve bought/made the first piece. Here I am today with a wardrobe of over 80 pieces that I made just for myself and there are many more things I have planned still to make.

 

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Rebecca modelling her Sunshine Gold Leopard Latex

 

At what point did you decide to take your personal interest in latex and transition it to a vocation?

Around the Christmas of 2012, I started making little sheets of latex at home on the kitchen table. I thought it would be a part-time hobby job that I would do after work or something like that. It wasn’t until April 2013 that I realized it was becoming much more than just a hobby job. I registered as self-employed when I was let go from my job in August, I haven’t looked back since. My life since then has been Yummy Gummy; I no longer know where I end and it begins.

A business has a number of things that one must deal with that sometimes dim one’s passion. You have rent, insurance, utilities, materials, employee salaries etc.  Is the market for latex adequate to balance the pressures of business?  What end of the market absorbs more time – the celebrity couture or the consumer market? How do you balance your passion for creativity with the need to be profitable?

I only worry when I get quiet during summer. I got so used to making latex every day for 7 days a week that if I’m not doing that I worry I don’t have enough work. However, Yummy Gummy has allowed me to save substantially and I bought a house in March 2017, so things are going pretty well.

I’d love to do more celebrity clothing or sheeting. Vex Clothing in the US, who works for a lot of celebs, buys my sheeting so it’s only a matter of time before something appears somewhere pretty cool. I find the more I get creative with the latex the more profitable things get. For example, I made a new latex patterning technique that I ran an Instagram competition for called #namethatlatex. From that, I decided to call it Acid Splatter and I have sold a fair few sheets of it since.

People love new things and colours and patterns so I have to push myself and be as creative as possible to keep ahead of the game and people interested in me. A lot of the time customers don’t know what they want until they see it. I have to keep guessing what it is they might want and keep putting it in front of them.

 

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Obsidian Latex: coloured glitter mixed in with black latex.

 

Latex can be described as a “fetish”, a “kink”, “Alternative Fashion” or simply “fashion”. Do you prefer one description over another?

It’s a bit of everything. It is mostly still in the Alternative reaches of fashion. It’s worn when the wearer wants to feel edgy; it’s like leather trousers or a vinyl coat. It’s worn as a statement, to not blend in. If it’s not worn as a statement, it’s worn for the thrill of the wearer. It makes you feel how no other fabric makes you feel.

That heightened feeling of empowerment, sexuality and security: nothing else can make you feel like that. It’s an addictive feeling, mixed with the exhilaration of feeling nearly naked. It’s a naughty combination, and if you enjoy attention it can be very fun to wear to non-kink events. You can see why celebrities enjoy wearing it.

It seems many latex outfits are designed to be body hugging. I’ve heard latex referred to as a “Second Skin”. Do you agree that latex should be used for tight outfits or does it lend itself to “loose” outfits? If it’s a “second skin” does it mean it needs to be worn without undergarments?  Does that intimidate people from wearing it?

It can be both. It can be rather luxurious when draped, especially when it’s wafty thin; it can feel like satin, only if it is left talcy though. Tight is what everyone is used to and familiar with when associating latex to a look. When wearing something very tight, it is better to not wear anything underneath or something with minimal lines that will not dig into the skin and show. Also, anything you wear underneath will get soaked through with sweat.

The tightness and weight of latex makes wearing no knickers feel safer than if wearing normal clothes, as it is less likely to ride due to its figure-hugging nature. However, if the latex has a bad fit all sorts of accidents could happen. It’s always best to get good-fitting latex by checking your measurements against designers’ measurement charts or buying made-to-measure. I myself, in some garments, will wear no knickers but a bra to give myself some shape as latex can have a boob flattening effect if you don’t have a lot of volume.

As for intimidating: once you’ve tried it once everything is all fine, but it is always a bit scary going commando for the first time no matter what fabric you’re wearing.

 

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Extra-thin latex can feel like luxurious silk or satin – if it’s lightly powdered with talc

 

In your experience, how concerned are people about body image when considering fashion choices? Does latex, as a material, help or hinder these decisions? Do you feel latex tends to express one’s body with honesty as if it was no different than a “second skin” or is it more of a fashionable type of shapewear that fixes a person’s perceived “flaws”?

Everyone has their own demons and niggles that they will see even if they’re naked. You have to have this sorted in your head first. Anything tight you see yourself in you’re going to hate if you don’t already like yourself. I have found that some people have enjoyed the sucking-in effect that a skin-tight latex dress can offer, while others have plucked at their flat stomachs convinced that they look pregnant.

I offer waist-cinching belts that accentuate curves which always have a positive effect on the wearer regardless of size. The curvier the customer the more these belts change their shape making it look more hourglass. (see: wide pointed belt in the shop).

Latex is something that is tight so will smooth out the lines of the figure, but it’s not a steel boned corset (unless that’s built in) so it’s not going to drastically change a body shape. I am working with Georgina from Fuller Figure Fuller Bust; she is about a 24/26 in my latex. She sometimes enjoys wearing shapewear under latex and sometimes goes without. It depends how hugged in, tight and controlled she wants to feel. You can never tell if she has it on because shapewear is made so there are no lines and everything tucks into where garments start and end, e.g. at the waist, or becomes looser at the knee. This is a good option for people that feel they need that extra bit of support.

 

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Wide Pointed Belt and Peplum Belt, styled with Marble Latex

 

How do you find the market for latex wear distributed between men, women, cross-dressers (men or women), and celebrity couture?

Well, I’m mostly targeted towards women’s so I see a lot of that. However working closely with Latex101 I see that there is a massive gay men’s scene that the general latex community doesn’t see. I’d say there is probably a bigger market for men’s that comes out of the gay scene, but in the latex community outside of the gay scene it’s more catered to women, as straight ladies are more likely to be experimental in their fashion than straight men.

You can see this in most smaller latex brands (like myself) have 90% ladies wear and 10% men’s. Latex is growing in popularity in the trans and drag scene; I get a few my way but because I’m not fully tapped into it I can’t speak too much for it.

What is your favorite piece of latex that you’ve created in your career for a man and for a woman?

You can’t ask me this question! It is so hard! I’ve made so many pieces for fashion shows and the like. My favourite thing that I sell is the Strappy Dress which is such a beautiful figure-hugging dress. It lends itself to any style and pattern of latex. I offered it in Asylum Latex [Yummy Gummy’s hand-print effect latex sheeting] in red-silver ombre for Halloween and black-gold ombre for Christmas. I would have one in every colour I can make.

As for sheet latex, my favourite that I’ve made is Opal Marble in colour change. It’s an explosion of colours and looks intergalactic! I would have every item of clothing I’ve made in that latex! I love a big swishy ball gown that sounds like thunder when you walk but the dress I’ve worn the most to non-latex events has been my floral dress as it transcends all fashions.

As for men’s, I didn’t make the garment but I made a Water Marble poppy latex on silver for Latex101, who made it into a t-shirt for a loyal customer. That is one of my most favourite menswear pieces that I was involved with making. This customer had amazing ideas and really believed in my ability and would always order something I hadn’t worked out how to make yet in order to push me just a little bit further each time. I love it when customers understand my capabilities and can imagine how I could manipulate latex into the pattern they want.

 

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Men’s Side Zip Short Sleeve Shirt

 

People can state that they don’t like latex because of the smell, or because the material doesn’t breathe and they sweat too much, or because it’s too tight or it makes them look like they’re selling sex. How do you address those concerns?

If you don’t like it don’t buy it, but try it first. I’ve converted many a sceptic by just putting them in it; very few get undressed still disliking it. If people like it but feel they’re selling sex then they just need to sort out in their heads and just own it and ignore the people they think will think they’re selling sex. Or they need to wear it to latex-friendly parties where they will feel right at home and everyone will be admiring them.

What is your design philosophy?  What drives your creativity?

ALL OF THE COLOURS!! How do I make black more interesting? How can I make sheet latex better? How can I cater to as many body shapes as possible with this design? How can I corrupt latex virgins?

Less or More? Do you prefer designing a latex outfit which is more on the revealing side or leaning towards full coverage?

Something that covers more gives me more to play with design wise, however I am looking at making lingerie at the moment which is less than a dress but I’m still enjoying how to cut things so it shows off the best parts and hugs in all the right ways. For me, it’s all about the latex pattern, so the less latex in an outfit the less you can see the pattern that I’ve put all the effort into making.

How do you feel is the best way to integrate latex into an everyday “public” outfit. How would you mix it with other materials?

It’s always easiest with all fashion statements to have the slightly bonkers thing on the bottom half. I have worn latex skirts with black simple fabric tops to the Panto in London and the Royal Albert Hall. I prefer to wear latex skirts as they’re free and easy and less restrictive when walking about London on a day out. If I wasn’t making latex I would have bought latex leggings to wear somewhere fancy for a night out instead of skinny jeans.

 

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Mixing and matching: a good way to integrate latex wear into the “everyday”

 

What are your goals for your future in latex design?

Take over the world! I’d like to dress Lady Gaga. I might have my latex on her soon in her tour, fingers crossed!!! I’d like to have my clothes in more shops, like high-end boutiques that already see £300 fabric dresses. I look forward to designing new collections and creating new colours and patterns of latex in the future. I can’t say what they’re going to be because I don’t even know what direction my head and new techniques I discover will take me.

What is your favorite part of being a latex fashion designer?

Seeing people in their clothes that they’ve bought and loving it! It’s the most rewarding thing to see customers enjoying wearing their latex that I’ve designed and made from scratch, and now they’re wearing it looking amazing. Also, watching fashion shows where another designer has bought my latex and made something of their own out of it. I love seeing how other designers creatively use my latex.

What is your “Blue Sky” accomplishment to achieve in the world of latex clothing or fashion in general?

Breaking the boundaries of how latex can look. Having people not immediately dive into black latex and consider having something a little more colourful or just a little less boring, e.g. colour change opal marble – black, but colourful – which will go with a myriad of outfits.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt stated that “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” People tend to be fearful of things that are different. They express that fear through aggressive or demeaning behavior towards others to express that their position is superior. Even without external pressure, a person can be fearful due to internal thoughts over how people will react.

This brings us to fashion. You can say the more different something is from the norm, the more people will react negatively. Do you agree with this? Is latex “too different” from what is accepted fashion to be commonplace? How much more extreme is it than wearing leather? Women often wear leather to corporate jobs. Is latex that much more extreme? Is men’s latex wear more “extreme” than women’s wear?

What do you say to someone who deep down would want to wear latex in public settings?

I think the reason latex hasn’t fully transcended like leather trousers is the fragility of it. The everyday is a dangerous place for latex, with inexperienced wearers and sharp things everywhere that could rip it. Because the best latex is made in western countries where wages are higher, this results in the price of latex being higher. This means that if it is fragile people don’t want to be wearing it on the everyday, as they don’t want to ruin the £100 leggings just mucking around, or have an idiot grab at their £140 dress on a night out. But they also don’t want their expensive clothing hanging about unworn in a cupboard.

There’s a lot that that can be blamed on attitudes towards sexuality. I have been worried about wearing latex to a club because I fear the wrong kind of male attention. If women get leered at wearing fabric dresses we fear twice as worse if we’re looking even sexier in something shiny. Latex catches the light and as it is a rare thing to be seen it’ll attract a little more attention. As more and more latex is seen around and about, the less it’ll bring curiosity.

So yes, at the moment it is very much fear of fear itself; I fear the potential attention I might get while wearing latex around a bunch of drunk men that haven’t seen it before. In reality, the times I’ve worn it out it’s been during the day and not in the club and no one has mentioned anything or pointed anything out. The times I’ve worn my floral dress around and about no one as either noticed it’s latex or have only complimented me on how pretty and unusual it is.

 

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Floral Dress: simply too pretty to be reserved just for the clubs

 

Women’s clothing seems to have such variety. Can men’s latex be as interesting? What are your thoughts on men’s latex fashion?

I think to be good at selling menswear you need a lot of variety. I offer 3 men’s shirts, when I had them on my stall I only sold the button down polo shirts and hardly any [men] looked at the side zip shirts I was offering, but I always have men ask for more variety. What straight men want is their familiar clothes made into latex so it’s not too much of a scary transition. Something that buttons down with a collar or a looser fitting t-shirt is closer to what they’re used to wearing every day than a tight fitting t-shirt or slightly funky zip shirt.

Either that or they drive a hard bargain, as menswear sold faster than ladies in my boxing day sale. I enjoy and find it easier to design women’s clothes (being a woman). I’ve had a lot of practice and know what women want and like to wear. I’d love to make more menswear but because when I dipped my toe in designing something a little different and customers still only bought the regular polo shirts it kind of put me off wanting to go out on a limb and design more.

Is there anything you would like to add?

Be wary of other people making their own sheet latex. Latex can cause allergic reactions if it isn’t the right kind of liquid latex and the right kind of pigments. I haven’t just worked this all out for myself from a fashion degree at uni: I was taught by someone that used to make sheet latex 20 years ago, who gave me the right suppliers to buy the right kind of pigments and latex from. I know what I make is high quality and safe to wear.

I’d like to thank my boyfriend Sam Wright and my long suffering helpers Meg and Nicola for putting up with all my shit and helping out at my markets; Latex 101 for their advice and support from the very beginning; my customers for believing in what I make and for astounding me everyday that someone wants to buy what I make and having such amazingly creative ideas; and lastly but not least the late Matthew Brown for giving me the knowledge and encouragement to go forth and start Yummy Gummy – without him I would be working a normal boring job and the latex scene would still be black and red.

 

Thank you to Kyle Selina of the Dark Shiny Fashion Alternatives blog for holding the Q&A, and to Rebecca Allsop for her participation.

Inline photos are copyright of Photographer Dan Thomas

We hope to provide credit for the gorgeous header image used – if you are aware of its source please contact us.

Links:

libidex latex raincoat by flaunt

Q&A with Simon Rose from Libidex

Libidex is one of the biggest UK latex clothing companies, certainly offering the largest range of women’s and men’s clothing I’ve seen, all designed from the company’s own latex sheeting brand: Radical Rubber. With control over the sheet manufacturing process, Libidex are able to price their garments competitively while retaining quality of design. They market to all audiences of latex wear, with entire collections based around either fetish or latex fashion themes; just this summer they launched a new Men’s Fashion Range, and this sits right alongside their ‘Hard & Heavy’ BDSM based collection: a clear message as to the spectrum of latex clothing on offer, and Libidex’s readiness to cater for all.

Simon Rose of Libidex agreed to take part in a Q&A with blogger Kyle Selina of the Dark Shiny Fashion Alternatives Blog, and a recurring theme was this relationship of fetish and fashion, not only from the perspective of Libidex itself but also in the context of wider developments and trends in latex clothing and how it relates to fashion and pop culture.

 

Can you provide a short bio of your background in fashion?

I am Simon Rose, Libidex owner and creative director and co-founder. I have a Psychology degree from Lancaster University. I am an avid reader, world traveler and latex fashion trendsetter.

How did you discover latex as a material to use in fashion?  Did you have a personal interest in wearing latex or was it just a material that you found interesting?

I grew up in a military family and from birth I was surrounded by uniforms, rubberized chemical warfare suits and gas masks (one of my favorite toys).  From there I discovered Atomage and early Skin Two magazine and everything fell into place.

At what point did you decide to take your personal interest in latex and transition it to a vocation?

In 1994 I was working with English latex designer pioneer Helen Saffery at Libidex in London. The label was still in its infancy and earlier on I spotted a huge opportunity to take Libidex to the next level making it the fetish powerhouse that it is today.

My inspiration came from the idea of offering customers both fetish and fashion latex clothes in one place.

A business has a number of things that one must deal with that sometimes dim one’s passion. You have rent, insurance, utilities, materials, employee salaries etc.  Is the market for latex adequate to balance the pressures of business?  What end of the market absorbs more time – the celebrity couture or the consumer market? How do you balance your passion for creativity with the need to be profitable?

Most certainly the consumer market. Celebrity endorsement doesn’t pay our bills in fact we turn away quite a few celebrity requests, from stylists, photographers etc. We just make sure we design popular items that are also creative, fresh and new.

 

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‘Liberation’ is the name of Libidex’s brick-and-mortar shop, located in Covent Garden, London

 

Latex can be described as a “fetish”, a “kink”, “Alternative Fashion” or simply “fashion”. Do you prefer one description over another?

Whatever name people are comfortable with. I like Fetish better. Because that is what it is after all.

It seems many latex outfits are designed to be body hugging. I’ve heard latex referred to as a “Second Skin”. Do you agree that latex should be used for tight outfits or does it lend itself to “loose” outfits? If it’s a “second skin” does it mean it needs to be worn without undergarments?  Does that intimidate people from wearing it?

Not necessarily as many designs in our range are loose fitting. For example, our Swing Circle Skirt or Rebelle Dress as well as our Pyjamas to name but a few. Not everyone likes to be squeezed in on tight latex. There are no rules and if there are, I live by the motto the rules are only there to be broken. If you feel freer wearing your latex with nothing underneath that is your own personal choice. The Scottish have done that for centuries. But if you prefer to have pants and bras under your latex garment and that makes you feel good, go for it!

In your experience, how concerned are people about body image when considering fashion choices? Does latex, as a material, help or hinder these decisions?

Do you feel latex tends to express one’s body with honesty as if is was no different than a “second skin” or is it more of a fashionable type of shapewear that fixes a person’s perceived “flaws”?

We have customers of all sizes and we cater for them offering a size range that goes from XXS to 6XL so you will always find something that will suit you. Everyone is different and some people prefer tight fitting catsuits and corsets and others want to be able to breathe and be comfortable while wearing latex, so they should do whatever they feel the most comfortable with. Some people wear it for fetish and some for fashion.

 

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Tight, figure-hugging dresses may get all the column inches, but latex clothing also comes in looser, relaxed garments, combining comfort with the sensual feel and glossy appearance

 

How do you find the market for latex wear distributed between men, women, cross-dressers (men or women), and celebrity couture?

We probably sell a bit more for our male customers, but women buy a lot from us too as do the transgender community. We cater for everyone.

What is your favorite piece of latex that you’ve created in your career for a man and for a woman?

Ummm that’s a hard one but one of my most fun was my Black Betty catsuit which is for all sexes and trans.

People can state that they don’t like latex because of the smell, or because the material doesn’t breathe and they sweat too much, or because it’s too tight or it makes them look like they’re selling sex. How do you address those concerns?

Latex is like marmite you either love or hate it. You can be converted into it by a loved one or a friend but mostly it like a fire that burns you up inside, an uncontrollable desire to dress head to toe in shiny latex.

What is your design philosophy?  What drives your creativity?

I have many different sources of inspiration, from classic literature, to films, music, art, period costumes, contemporary fashion. The fetish scene in Europe and its many clubs and events is an endless font of inspiration. Seeing what people are wearing is a fun and fabulous way to come up with new designs and ideas.

Less or More? Do you prefer designing a latex outfit which is more on the revealing side or leaning towards full coverage?

It depends of the occasion, what collection I am working on. More is definitely more.

 

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You say ‘non-breathable’, we say ‘100% guaranteed rain-proof’. Tomayto, tomahto!

 

How do you feel is the best way to integrate latex into an everyday “public” outfit. How would you mix it with other materials?

Latex leggings can be beautifully paired with jackets, or a latex skirt with fabric blouse. Guys can have classic latex jeans in some funky colour with a cotton T-shirt.

What are your goals for your future in latex design?

To keep bringing affordable, exciting and innovative collections to our customers.

What is your favorite part of being a latex fashion designer?

Designing new collections. The research process is very exciting.

What is your “Blue Sky” accomplishment to achieve in the world of latex clothing or fashion in general?

From gluing my first suspender belt in 1990 to the present day, Libidex has had to overcome a huge number of challenges and obstacles. Every collection photographed and each of our fashion shows are always memorable moments. The fact that we are still here, bigger and better and appreciated by rubberists the world over, over 25 years later is what gets me out of bed with a smile on my face.

 

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Libidex are popular for their catsuits, commissioned here for Girls Aloud’s ‘Sexy! No No No’ video. Libidex also provided a transparent catsuit for the cyborg in the film ‘Machine’ (2014)

 

President Franklin D. Roosevelt stated that “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” People tend to be fearful of things that are different. They express that fear through aggressive or demeaning behavior towards others to express that their position is superior. Even without external pressure, a person can be fearful due to internal thoughts over how people will react.

This brings us to fashion. You can say the more different something is from the norm, the more people will react negatively. Do you agree with this? Is latex “too different” from what is accepted fashion to be common place? How much more extreme is it than wearing leather? Women often wear leather to corporate jobs. Is latex that much more extreme? Is men’s latex wear more “extreme” than women’s wear?

What do you say to someone who deep down would want to wear latex in public settings?

This is 2017 and latex fashion is everywhere. Pop videos, TV, commercials, youtube, Instagram, and social media have done wonders to remove the stigma associated to latex. And it all depends how you present it. Of course if you turn up in full Dominatrix gear you will raise the wrong kind of attention but if you wear something more fashion orientated, you could be fine even at your work place. Society is changing and so is people’s perception of latex wear.

No I don’t think men’s wear is more extreme than women’s at all.

Go for it, start with something bright and colourful, mix it up with something quirky and you will be fine.

Women’s clothing seems to have such variety. Can men’s latex be as interesting? What are your thoughts on men’s latex fashion?

Yes 100% men’s clothes can be exciting, varied and colourful. The new Male Fashion Collection we are working on at the moment is a testament of that.

You have expanded your line greatly. What drives the expansion?

Demand, our customers always want new styles and designs and as long as there is interest from them we will be more than willing to oblige.

 

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Certain items offer a casual, everyday sort of clothing – but in latex

 

Thank you to Kyle Selina of the Dark Shiny Fashion Alternatives blog for holding the Q&A, and to Simon Rose for his participation.

Links:

Irina Rimes at the Media Music Awards 2017

Irina Rimes is a Moldovan performer based in Romania, and on Tuesday she attended the Media Music Awards 2017, winning the Best New Artist award.

There was no such Best Costume award, but if there had been then she would have had that in the bag too.

 

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Prior to the event, Irina was interviewed on the ‘Green Carpet’ and asked about her costume. We don’t have a word for word translation, but we understand Irina had a desire to dress in a quirky maid outfit for sometime, before the award ceremony finally granted her the opportunity with its “Cool Vibe” themed dress code.

 

 

Okay, latex looks cool, but how do you stay cool wearing it in the warm Romanian climate? Apparently not a problem for Irina: she didn’t find perspiration an issue, instead noting the unique sensory qualities of latex and its ability to heighten sensations of warm and cool at turns.

At least, that was what she said BEFORE her stage performance!

 

 

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This Virginie Maid Outfit was designed by Libidex, originally commissioned for a promo for Henry Cotton’s Fall Winter 2013/14 catalog. The promo itself is a sight to behold, taking the signature Henry Cotton blend of authentic British style and timeless Italian elegance and combining it with… latex-clad robot house servants. As you do.

Take a look:

 

 

Here is further information from Libidex about the original commission.

 

cocosori kickstarter

CoCoSoRi’s Crowdfunded Comeback

CocoSori are a Korean pop duo who first came to our attention in 2016 with the release of their first single Dark Circle. The video featured the duo wearing Atsuko Kudo maids’ uniforms in pink and turquoise:

 

 

CoCoSoRi would go on to perform live numerous times in the same costumes, sometimes in red or black variants:

 

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For some months all was quiet on their channel, until last week when they announced they had taken to Kickstarter in an effort to fund a new music video. At the time of writing, they have already exceeded their ¥2,000,000 ($17,388) goal with 12 days to go. The Kickstarter page itself is in Japanese, but check out the pitch below also in English:

 

 

We congratulate the girls on their successful campaign, though with a slight pang of loss we note that as part of their funding drive the group offered up their latex outfits as rewards for the higher brackets, and these have all been snapped up. And with that, it looks like this is the last we’ll see of the iconic dresses. But who knows, with 12 days to go if the campaign meets some stretch goals maybe there’ll be enough extra cash to fund another trip to London and another Atsuko Kudo shopping spree?!

Watch below to see CoCoSoRi’s original visit to AK for fittings for the famous maid uniforms:

 

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The Adorned: Nange Magro on CNN

As CNN describes it, The Adorned is a series of short films which “explores the psychology behind extraordinary style”. In these videos, you can find eccentric characters wearing even more eccentric clothing. Elaborate, individual, and eye-catching, the people in these videos often find clothing and dressing up as self-expression and an art form itself, painting life in big, colourful letters. For some, it’s a way of finding inner strength and affirming who they are.

Does any of that sound familiar, latex lovers?

Nange Magro, the designer of Dead Lotus Couture is one of the subjects, and she talks about her background and the influences which led to her creating her unique latex creations, which combine elegance with the theatrical. She also describes the sense of belonging which she feels in being part of the alternative & fetish communities, finding them a welcoming and accepting environment for self-expression to flourish in all its forms.

The video naturally shows her wearing her designs, and also captures well the material’s qualities, such as its unique sound, and with multiple close ups of its high-gloss surface. There is also a ‘transforming’ dress, which is a sight to behold in itself:

http://edition.cnn.com/style/article/the-adorned-nange-magro/index.html

I recommend watching the whole series of films, because they are full of positive and inspiring view points, and they expound the philosophy of finding the theatre in life, and playing exactly the role we feel we were born to play, whatever it might be.

 

Every time I wear an outfit that I made and that is in latex I feel much more myself…you feel more powerful, like you affirm who you are.

Nange Magro

There’s a fear of being different, but we are all different inside in one way or the other, so what’s wrong with expressing that difference in the way you present yourself to the world?

Artist Sue Kreitzman, who is battling the beige and the bland by going out in wearable works of art

It is giving full reign to enjoy the opulence of the mind and thinking; That is expressed through the way I dress.

Tyne O’Connell

I see my outfits a lot of the time as kind of armour…I don’t think there’s any point in blending in.

Daniel Lismore

 

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St Vincent Annie Clark Latex

St. Vincent and Latex

St. Vincent is musician Annie Clark and she’s recently released several short clips which appear to be a satire of the interview circuit. Not being aware of her output, I don’t know whether to take them as promotions in themselves, a purely creative endeavour, just a way of having a laugh, or all of the above. But the point is there is latex!

While answering parody questions, St. Vincent is sat wearing a latex skirt and the lovely Syren Garbo blouse, which is so deservedly popular that we wrote an entire article just on this one garment.

There are 13 clips in total, each no more than 30 seconds long which you can see on her instagram. I’m posting just one here, but it’s the one which I think shows off the most of her outfit:

 

 

Now, the videos are so tongue-in-cheek you might be forgiven for thinking St. Vincent picked her clothes purely to poke fun at prevailing pop fashion trends. But in fact she has worn latex in the past in different contexts, and it’s totally her style. She’s one of us!

 

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Here St. Vincent is performing at the Singapore Laneway Festival, 2015

 

My favourite, though, is a different black rubber dress, one which she wears in this video to present a guitar of her own design:

 

 

I’m enamoured with this look. Different from the high-gloss, reflective latex we usually know and love to see, this dress has a fine powdery finish. Anyone who has ordered latex clothing by post will be reminded of the light, even application of talc covering their new garments, inside and out, in order to prevent the latex from sticking to itself during shipping. The talc makes the rubber silky smooth and easy to get into, which is much appreciated when opening a new purchase, since you want to almost jump into the clothes out of excitement. And if the clothes are designed to be loose, then the material just brushes lightly on the skin as it drapes and hangs, cool to the touch when it comes into contact.

It’s this kind of unpretentious, raw & unpolished, silky new finish which I’m reminded of by this dress. It’s a rubber dress, but it’s carefree, casual and relaxed. That exciting immediacy of just jumping into some soft, loose latex without planning nor preparation. Impulsive. Latex for lounging on a (sensuous) Sunday?

The look is edgy, the feeling soft & delicate, and I’m 100% absolutely certain Annie was very, very comfortable wearing it.

 

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They always come back for more

I’m going to posit that there exists a law of nature when it comes to latex and pop stars: there are those who haven’t tried latex, and there are those who just can’t stay away from it. No middle ground. Nuh-uh.

Of course, I may be over-generalising a little, but it really seems to be getting harder to find incidents of performers wearing latex just once and deciding it’s not for them. Rather, they come back for more. We at WearLatex find this perfectly understandable and expected behaviour!

Now of course you could draw up a long list of artists to have appeared in latex on more than one occasion, but here we’re going to round up some of the examples presented in just the last couple of weeks.

Taylor Swift first appeared in latex (along with a raft of co-stars likewise wearing latex) in her music video Bad Blood. Latex was provided by the likes of Syren and Atsuko Kudo. Well, Taylor has returned to AK for her latest high budget video, Look What You Made Me Do. She wears this orange Miss T Bra in an early scene, though it’s a mere tantalising hint of latex before appearing in full dominatrix-queen regalia around the 1 minute 50 mark. Granted, the screen time is all too short, but nobody can deny she looks devastating.

 

 

Nicki Minaj has been on a veritable latex binge for the whole of 2017. I first became aware of it with the video for Jason Derulo’s Swaller, and since that time she has been rather active in sharing her latex addiction on instagram. It kind of came full circle late August, wearing a few latex outfits (together with Blac Chyna) for yet another MV: Rake it Up by Yo Gotti. However, the real chatter came soon afterwards, with her appearance at the MTV Video Music Awards. She arrived in this eye-wateringly tight pink outfit by Vex Clothing; a look befitting of her ‘Barbie’ moniker. Later on the same evening, she swapped the pink for black and white latex in order to perform.

 

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Charli XCX performed at G-A-Y London on August 26th and was wearing her favourite latex label, Meat Clothing. We’ve previously written about Charli and her love of the brand here. Suffice to say, Meat are unconventional in the latex fashion space, and that suits Charli XCX fine.

 

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It’s fantastic that latex is available in such a diversity of looks, and this variety will only widen as more and more designers enter the field. Wearing latex doesn’t have to be a style in itself, but merely an additional medium in which a plethora of existing styles can be rendered in a highly interesting, sexy, sensual way. No matter the genre, the musician, or the persona, there should be latex available to suit (or indeed transform) anybody.

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The latest House of CB latex appearances

When it comes to bringing latex fashion to the mainstream, House of CB’s contribution just can’t be overstated. It’s a killer combination:

  1. Chic fashion label
  2. The familiar environment of the high-street clothing shop
  3. Off-the-peg latex to be tried for a lower price than the made-to-measure couture latex specialists.

The result is we’re seeing House of CB latex crop up everywhere:

 

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Vanessa Hudgens wearing the ‘Lexii’ dress at the Mayweather v McGregor pre-fight party

 

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Jess Shears at the TV Choice Awards wearing the ‘Alcina’ dress

 

And in the video below you can see Maja Šuput performing live on Croatian TV:

This ‘Livana’ dress is running away with it in the popularity stakes. Read a full post about all of the sightings here.

 

As we can see, House of CB are always increasing their latex range, the latest tally at THIRTEEN outfits! (Number of outfits may differ depending on your location).

I remember back when I wrote about House of CB’s first forays into latex I expressed the hope they would expand into more designs and colours, and they have certainly delivered. It looks to be paying off for them.

The crucial point worth making is that it’s not just the celebs buying into this. Plug #houseofcb into instagram and you don’t have to scroll far to see ordinary people wearing their latex, feeling and looking on top of the world. Latex is breaking through. First it was for the fetish shops. Then it was for the celebrities. Now it’s for everyone.

Latex Leggings

Latex leggings are a great way to introduce some latex into your wardrobe, whether you’re a first-timer curious about the material, or simply looking for the kind of latex fashion item that can give an edge to your style.

 

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Top: Maïa by Ricchy; Left-to-right: Mary D Model, Katerina Piglet, Kay Morgan

 

Wet-look leggings or bottoms are already in vogue and have been for some time, usually made of faux leather (pleather, PU leather, etc.), nylon, polyester, spandex, vinyl or a combination thereof. Just take a look at the array of slick bottoms on offer from Topshop alone.

Consider latex as another option in this fashion movement, if slightly more avant-garde. This clear line which can be drawn from the wet-look mainstream fashion trend to latex leggings makes them less likely to raise eyebrows than, for example, an entire latex dress, and therefore a good opportunity to wear latex out and about in more regular settings.

 

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Top: blogger Nicky Alicia; Left-to-right: fetish model Lara Larsen, bloggers Badm3l and danisbodystyle 

 

We think mixing and matching items of latex with other fabrics and patterns is one of the classiest ways of introducing some latex into your everyday style, and latex leggings are ideal for this as they can be paired with most things for a variety of looks. Try contrasting the smooth and reflective leggings with textures that have the opposite effect, like soft furs, or with looser garments which contrast the skin tight latex look with something light and flowing.

 

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Top: Larum Photography; Left-to-right: Actress Rafaela Salvadori, Nicoline Hansen Latex, Ankha Van Ayken by Latexperiment

 

Such is their versatility that depending on what they’re paired with they can be used for dressing up or down. The resulting image can be anything from casual, smart, chic, rock, or performance.

 

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Top: model Bella Isadora; Left-to-right: Larum Photography, Alexandra Potter by Latexperiment, and Leonor Andrade performing for Portugal at the Eurovision Song Contest Semi-Final 2015.

 

As ever, celebs can be relied on for spearheading latex trends thanks to their bold fashion statements…

 

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Top: Kim Kardashian in Atsuko Kudo; Left-to-right: Haley Williams performing with her group Paramore, Sophia Tomalla at the InTouch awards 2016, and Paloma Faith wearing William Wilde at Camden Roundhouse,

 

…and hot on their heels, the fashion bloggers…

 

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Top: blogger ‘annesfashionlove’ showing one of her lookbooks; Left-to-right: Ricci Tauscher demonstrating sporty and dressy looks courtesy of Simon O latex, and fashion blogger ‘So Verseilles’ inspired by Kim Kardashian in her choice of leggings; Bottom: vlogger Vanessa Pur showing off the AK leggings in motion

 

Where to buy latex leggings?

Latex leggings are such a staple that they can be bought from nearly every latex designer, from the biggest companies to the individual producer.

High fashion labels like Atsuko Kudo and William Wilde do their own latex leggings.

Fetish-fashion outfitters such as Libidex, Westward Bound, House of Harlot or Simon O also do leggings as par for the course. Simon O in particular are worth mentioning as something of a leggings specialist, offering a wide range of designs and styles which can be heavily customised with various options, zips, text applique and so on.

Smaller companies like Catalyst Latex and Signature Latex all have their own take on leggings. Catalyst Latex, for example, treat their latex in a process known as chlorination which alters the chemical structure of the rubber making them easier to slip into. Signature Latex offer various options on their leggings, like zips, attached feet, etc.

 

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Top: William Wilde ‘Lolita leggings’; Left-to-right: Simon O, Louisa Johnson wearing House of Harlot lace-up leggings, Signature Latex

 

Hit up Etsy or DaWanda for a whole load of artisans producing tailored latex with care and passion from out of the home. Their latex is often competitively priced, the quality of the highest standard, and sometimes offers unique patterns, textures, etc.

 

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Top: Miss Grey Latex; Left-to-right: Zorenko, Essential Latex, and Lockstoff Latex.

 

But trust me when I say this is just scratching the surface. There are hundreds of latex fashion designers and most of them probably do some form of leggings. If you really want to explore your options I recommend trying the Latex Search Engine. Select your region from the tabs, and explore.

And if you are new to latex, a final word of warning: latex, especially when skin tight like leggings, demands preparation and patience to dress comfortably. The video below, although in German, demonstrates this aspect of latex in a fun way. We think the results are more than worth the struggle, although we might be slightly biased.