Another year, another raft of music videos featuring latex outfits. There were the usual suspects but also many complete newcomers to latex fashion and imagery. In a few cases, latex was an artistic representation of futuristic fashion or empowerment and submission; in other cases, it was not a meta-representation of ‘fashion’ but simply fashion in itself. And there is always, of course, room for latex as simple, unpretentious sexy fun.
Outfits were sourced from couture latex designers spanning the globe, from Vex Clothing, Syren and Dawnamatrix in the US, to Kim West, Atsuko Kudo and Maddrubb in Europe, and Atelier Harlem in Australia.
And so, in reverse order: our top 10 favourite music videos of 2017. Click the song titles for a more detailed post or a direct link to the video itself.
Fergie – You Already Know (ft. Nicki Minaj)
Fergie wears one of our favourite garments, justifiably popular among a long line of performers. So much so, that we even wrote a whole post dedicated to the Syren Garbo Blouse.
Black M – Comme moi (ft. Shakira)
Shakira was that rare pop icon who avoided experimenting with a latex look over the length of her extended career. Until 2017, that is. The wait was worth it, as this nude latex bodysuit is the ideal ‘second skin’, clinging to Shakira’s every twisting and undulating movement.
Migos, Nicki Minaj, Cardi B – MotorSport
Nicki Minaj is one of those stars who fell for latex hard this year, appearing in a multitude of videos, live appearances, and social media posts wearing her newfound favourite material. But we think she saved the absolute best outfit for MotorSport in December. For the Blade Runner-style neon sci-fi setting, they opted for a chrome and transparent future fashion combo: the look is achieved with no less than a head to toe semi-transparent catsuit!
Taylor Swift – Look What You Made Me Do
Taylor Swift wears an orange Atsuko Kudo bra in an early scene, though it’s a mere tantalising hint of latex before she appears in full dominatrix-queen regalia around the 1 minute 50 mark, looking the cruel despot, oozing power. Granted, the screen time is all too short, but nobody can deny she looks devastating.
Janel Parrish – Dance For Me
This video is ridiculously over the top, with four women in red and black catsuits, writhing around between smoke, mirrors and lasers. But it gets away with it by being half parody: Janel Parrish plays a fictional singer within the Rosewood TV series, and this is the music video filmed in-show, then released independently as a cross-promotion. We quite admire the self-awareness of latex being a music video trope, but even at face value what’s not to like about four dancers in tight, shiny, head to toe rubber?
Pixie Lott – Won’t Forget You (ft. Stylo G)
The latex bodysuit has been one of the vogue items for performers, featured in five of the videos on this list alone. Here Pixie Lott wears a bright pastel green which fits the bright and fresh summery vibe of this video and the single.
Katy Perry – Chained to the Rhythm (ft. Skip Marley)
We are back to future fashion for Chained to the Rhythm. Despite this future being a different, Brave New World-style vision of dystopia – one of pastel colours and endless stimulations – chrome, transparent and otherwise reflective clothing still rule the day. Latex is just one of a number of materials that fit into this vision, and we love Katy’s look in the latter half of the video especially. Extra points for the catchy retro 80s synthpop and what it tries to tell us.
Kimbra – Top of the World
It’s Kimbra, “smashing shit up in latex”, and that must feel as good as it looks. Care was taken to make sure the choice of outfits were a representation of the lyrics in each scene, and Kimbra dons the latex for a climactic verse in which she tells us she feels “Like a god”. If you’ve ever dressed up in latex, that may well resonate with you.
Reyko – Spinning Over You
Latex takes front and centre stage in this debut video by Reyko, thanks to solid primary and secondary colours, set to maximum shine on a minimalist set. The dancers wear the ubiquitous latex bodysuit, however the real star is the luscious yellow midi dress worn by the main singer. This combines two great visual and tactile effects of latex: the figure-hugging second skin on top, and relaxed and loose at the bottom. Seeing the unique weight of loose latex in motion, and how it falls and flows freely while catching the light is one of its stand out qualities, here exploited to maximum effect against the black background.
Katy Perry – Bon Appétit (ft. Migos)
The imagery in Bon Appetit is a visual feast. Even apart from the latex, the scenes are arresting and provocative but also playful, as Katy Perry wryly serves up another course of her social commentary. The latex is plentiful, in transparent nudes, pinks and lilacs. The nudes are like a call back to the shrink wrapping covering Katy at the start of the video, while the pink becomes a mouthwatering glaze as she is served up, all prepared and fit for presentation. When it’s time for the big reveal, Katy in fact covers up: a lilac kimono materialises over her existing outfit; a reflective armour, latex layered upon latex; Katy revels in the moment as power is turned on its head.