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Reyko and Beatriz Luengo

Latex continues to capture the imagination of artists of all walks, and between updates of the biggest stars in the music industry using latex in their latest videos we’re able to discuss independent projects similarly finding inspiration in the material for their debut releases.

The debut video by Reyko, “Spinning Over You”, is from March and features lots of latex bodysuits, which are seemingly ubiquitous in music videos lately. However, the true star is the luscious yellow dress worn by the main singer, figure hugging on top and long and loose on the bottom. Seeing how loose latex falls and flows while catching the light is one of the great visual qualities of latex, here exploited to maximum effect against the black background of the set.

 

 

I knew I’d seen this dress before, and sure enough a little investigation dug out these pictures of Beatriz Luengo performing at the Spanish music festival Cadena 100 last year:

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It’s notable how the different levels of shiner used by each performer results in a different visual effect for the same dress. Both artists are Spanish, so at a guess I would say this is a design by premier Spanish latex label MadRubb, but don’t quote me.

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Katy Perry – Bon Appétit

Katy Perry is always good value for the latex spotter, and her new video does not disappoint.

Following February’s Chained to the Rhythm, the new single Bon Appetite serves up another course of social commentary. It’s eye-catching even aside from the latex, and the set pieces provocative and visually arresting.

 

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The song isn’t as catchy in my opinion, but there is certainly more latex this time around, including bra, knickers and kimono by Dawnamatrix, and bodysuit and tights by Vex Clothing, all in tempting transparent nudes, pinks and violets. You can see much more of the latex in the behind the scenes video at the bottom.

 

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Goldfrapp and Shakira both featuring Kim West Latex

Two recent music video offerings here, connected by both having Kim West Latex in common.

The more recent release is Comme Moi by Black M featuring Shakira, in which Shakira is wearing a nude latex body. To my knowledge, this is the first instance of Shakira wearing latex, and it’s nice to welcome her to a club which by now surely counts every major female pop star as a member:

 

The second video is the Mad Max-esque video for Anymore by Goldfrapp. Alison Goldfrapp herself is not wearing latex, but several of the women in the video are wearing latex knickers. The latex may not be as prominent as in the former video, but overall this video is by far more interesting and the music leagues better, so it’s an easy favourite.

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Jenni Vartiainen – Turvasana

Finnish musician Jenni Vartiainen arrived at the Emma Gaala music awards in February wearing this ultra-fine semi-transparent latex coat.

 

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From what I gleaned from a Google translation of this article the latex is by Finnish brand Hálo and was a custom design made especially for her video Turvasana. The article includes a video interview which allows seeing the coat close up.

Check out the video for Turvasana below, which does a great job showing off just how light and delicate this beautiful garment is:

 

 

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Bel – Melancholia

Although Bel’s debut EP ‘Melancholia’ was only released last month, the video for its title track has actually been around since August last year.

It features several motifs for depression, with one of the prominent ones being a black latex catsuit as Bel lies in a bath of black water. Already submerged in melancholia, it clinging to her tightly, black latex gloved hands grasp at her, manipulate her, pulling her this way and that.

 

 

But the song is actually about embracing melancholia and allowing it to embrace us. As Bel says:

The word Melancholia by definition encompasses sadness in a peaceful and accepting way. In essence, this song is about accepting the way you feel and not fighting it, but bathing in it for what it is.

At least, that does seem to be the latter-day, romanticised definition of ‘melancholia’, as opposed to the contemporary clinical term ‘depression’.

I found it interesting how certain parallels can be drawn between Bel’s Melancholia and Jhené Aiko’s Maniac. Both videos use latex as a visual motif for different neuroses. Neuroses which, coincidentally, have both also been represented in separate films by Lars Von Trier.

It’s good to see latex just as popular with up-and-coming artists as well as established ones, and to see the applications for latex become broader and broader, in art as in fashion.

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Visions of a latex future

With the release of Katy Perry’s video for new single Chained to the Rhythm, Katy proved she was just as reliable as ever for providing some latex sightings from pop culture. I personally like it when the latex outfits in music videos are congruous with the art direction as a whole, as opposed to pure titillation, and that’s very much what we’ve got here.

 

 

The video presents a Brave New World style dystopia, and readily apparent is the sheer amount shiny, reflective clothing prevalent, not all of it latex. For her part, Katy is wearing white capri leggings by Vex Clothing in the first segment of the video. They are barely seen under her dress, but I guess being such a latex fanatic that didn’t matter to Katy and she wanted them to be latex anyway. The white body she wears in the same section may or may not be latex, but the black body in the latter half of the video definitely is, made by Kim West.

One of the persistent conceptions of latex clothing is that it’s in some sense futuristic, perhaps due to its otherworldliness. You can see that it’s obviously clothing, but not at all like the clothing we’re used to in our day to day lives. And I suppose that’s what sci-fi does: to take what we know and recognise and twist it slightly so it has the feeling of belonging to another time and place. Latex also fits into that vague notion of the ‘chrome’ future: a world shiny, reflective and metallic. Perhaps a bit cold, a bit distant, but sleek, streamlined, extremely cool, extremely stylish and in some sense an evolution. Advanced clothing for an advanced generation.

 

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Monica Belucci and Carrie-Anne Moss from the Matrix film trilogy. Much more latex was featured in the films, such is in the Club Hel scene from Matrix Revolutions.

 

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More recently, Westworld featured these latex lab coats. Read more about them here.


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 evangelion latex cosplay 

Above: cosplayer Omi-K-Gibson wearing Andromeda Latex. Left to right: cosplayers Maria Khanna, Stella Chuus and Jessienoochies. Video game and anime characters inspire plenty of sci-fi themed latex cosplayers. See more in our cosplay posts here and here.

 

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Jupiter Ascending featured costumes by House of Harlot. Latex is often chosen for cybernetic characters, being able to convey a kind of flawless sheen which is at the same time quite human and organic.

 

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Another latex cyborg, from the 2013 film The Machine. Catsuit by Libidex.

 

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Westworld was not the first to do latex lab coats. Terry Gilliam is known for his imaginative and well-realised dystopias, and 2013’s The Zero Theorem featured lots of latex, also by House of Harlot.

 

beyonce-solange_met-party-latex2016And finally, future-inspired fashion, in perhaps last year’s most high-profile latex outing. The theme for Met Gala 2016 was “Manus X Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology” which inspired Beyonce and her sister Solange to wear latex. More pictures of Beyonce’s gown here.

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Jessie J in latex by Hanger

Of course, another way of staying comfortable in latex is to wear loose hanging garments, a rising trend within the latex fashion sphere itself.

 

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These dungarees must be a damn sight easier to slip into than a skintight dress, and cooler to wear too! All without sacrificing that silky smooth sensuous texture which is a delight next to the skin. Of course, the style won’t suit everyone but it’s exciting to see latex branching off into these different directions, with designers keen to innovate and the fashion curious similarly enthusiastic to try new things from latex. The more designs, colours and styles of latex we see, the more opportunities there are for a latex garment to make its way over to somebody’s wardrobe, possibly for the first time.

 

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Jessie J was appearing at the Film Is Great reception in honour of British nominees for the Academy Awards. Latex by Hanger.

 

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Charli XCX’s unique latex style

Charli XCX is another performer with a liking for latex, but with a difference.

Forget the figure hugging and often revealing low-cut dresses favoured at the parties and red carpets: Charli eschews the glamorous gowns and adopts a style of her own when it comes to latex, wearing a looser, urban style befitting her pop-with-attitude identity.

 

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photos from the December 2016 issue of Wonderland Magazine

 

The above photos feature Charli in clothing by Hanger Inc. Hanger’s designs specialise in an oversized style of latex that can be mixed and matched with other fabrics. Being one of the recipients of the ASOS fashion discovery award, you can expect to hear more about this up and coming designer.

But Hanger’s are not the only designs which gel with Chali XCX’s image:

 

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Photos from Status Magazine, October 2014

 

The two looks above are courtesy of Meat Clothing. The style of this brand is gritty and rebellious, making no attempt to occupy the same niche as the luxuriant latex couturiers. Even the brand name ‘Meat’ is like a middle finger in your face. There is much talk of latex spreading into the fashion domain where previously it belonged uniquely to fetish. But fashion itself contains a myriad of styles, and it’s great to see latex brands like Hanger and Meat showing the versatility and variety offered by the material.

These final images show Charli XCX in a loose fitting catsuit by Meat Clothing:

 

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Janel Parrish – Dance for Me

We’ve reached the stage where music video costume designers are engaged in a game of one-upmanship to out-latex one another. And “Dance for Me” turns it up to eleven.

There are shades of Britney Spears as Janel Parrish takes centre stage in a red latex catsuit. But more: she’s also flanked by 3 backing dancers in black latex catsuits. Mirrors are placed around the periphery to offer the illusion of a whole army of writhing latex forms.

 

 

As you might gather from the FOX branding, this is no ordinary music video. On Friday, the latest episode of Rosewood aired which guest starred Janel as the singer Selena. The episode opens with an excerpt of the video above, until someone yells “CUT!” and it’s revealed that the music video is in fact only in the midst of being filmed within the show.

This being a singer acting the role of a fictional singer within a TV show, the video has apparently been conceived as an exaggeration of music video tropes: Sex appeal, literal smoke and mirrors, and latex, lots of latex. It’s highly reminiscent of Nelly Furtado donning a latex catsuit for similar purposes of parody way back in 2009.

This video of “Dance for Me” has been filmed in full and released as a kind of cross promotion for both the single and the show itself, so in a sense it’s both a real music video and a made up one. And everyone involved is having their cake and eating it, and I suppose so are we!

When I said last week “M.I.L.F.$ probably has the highest screentime of latex in any music video” I wasn’t expecting my words to be out of date so soon.

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Gwen Stefani, and the ubiquitous Syren Latex Garbo blouse

Just a few days after writing about Jhené Aiko appearing in her Maniac video wearing Syren’s Garbo blouse, I find out Gwen Stefani filmed a promotion for Ex Eyewear wearing not one but two variants of the same top, surely confirming this as one of the more popular latex designs out there. And small wonder: combining figure hugging and loose, flowing latex in one garment, the Garbo blouse shows off all of the wonderful properties of the material together. Not just its smooth flawless surface, how it clings to and reveals the form of the wearer underneath, reflecting and glistening under light; but also its weight, how it falls and folds, and the unique rustle as it does so. Irresistible!

 

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Wearing the same design as somebody else doesn’t have to be a fashion faux pas when it comes to latex, as it can be made bespoke in almost any colour you desire. Here are the various photo shoots and videos I know about, showing just a handful of the possible variants of this blouse:

 

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Sophie Lie photographed for Galore Mag

 

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Jhené Aiko promo shots for her music video Maniac

 

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Danielle Herrington by Juco Photo for Fashion Gone Rogue

 

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Selena Gomez in Taylor Swift’s Bad Blood video wearing this transparent black variant

 

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Bjork in promo shots for her album Vulnicura

 

As you can see for yourself on Syren’s store, the colours shown here only scratch the surface. What colour would you pick? Anyone who’s bought latex clothing before knows that the more than ample choice of colours, secondary colours and further options and customizations can be agonising! Especially when they all look so good. Of course, if money’s no object you can always solve this problem a la Gwen Stefani: buy several!