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Tina Karol’s latex mania

In a recent Q&A, Rebecca Allsop said the following in relation to her discovery of latex:

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.

This nicely encapsulated a post we made in September, titled They Always Come Back For More, where we looked at a pattern of performers discovering latex and returning to it again and again: evidence that latex is indeed, as Rebecca says, ‘moreish’. Some of us would go even further and use more emotive words to describe our attraction: latex can be an obsession, it can be an addiction, and it can be a fetish.

Whatever the degree of fascination, we can generalise that latex often makes an indelible impression on those that try it, and some just can’t get enough of it.

And so, without further ado, we present Ukrainian pop idol Tina Karol:


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We can trace Tina’s public love affair for latex back to the release in May last year of her music video ‘Ya Ne Perestanu’, in which she and a coterie of clones wear red latex stockings. She and her backup dancers would go on to wear the same for a number of live performances of the song.



All was quiet for some time until the 11th of November when Tina kicked off a veritable latex binge with an appearance on the live comedy sketch show League of Laughter. Tina was wearing a red Linde Pencil Dress by Atsuko Kudo, and it was to be the start of an all-out media blitz of latex, Tina’s every appearance being a showcase of her favourite latex designer.



On the 15th of November, it was in attendance to the Viva! Ball 2017, this time in a black Eden Corset Dress, where she was interviewed for the show Svitske Zhittya, or “Society Life”. Of course, her outfit one of the main topics for discussion:



Katya: In case our viewers didn’t notice, this is a rubber dress on you. Rubber woman – beautiful!

Tina: This is latex couture. I bought this dress in a special store of a Japanese designer. It’s actually unbelievably technologically complex. It’s really couture.

Katya: This dress is stitched, more precisely, is glued especially to your size?

Tina: Yes. But I don’t betray my style: it’s still my length, it’s still retro, and it’s still Tina Karol.

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On the 9th of December, it was off to the M1 Music Awards. For this event, Tina even wore the red Linde dress for official promotional material and graphics. However, in attendance for the live event itself, Tina wore a new dress – the Paris Cup Pencil Dress in custom green – which she showed off when collecting her two awards for the night: best artist and best music video. That’s not all: for a live performance at the same event, Tina and her backup dancers were wearing transparent lilac latex leggings. This is true latex mania!


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In late December, another interview was aired on Society Life, Tina wearing the Paris Cup Pencil Dress but in the more familiar light brown colour. What’s more, Tina has also worn this dress to perform live, as can be seen in the video below. The interviewer comments on Tina’s beautiful appearance but there was no reference specifically to latex this time. We guess by now the presenter had become used to Gumova Zhinka – the Rubber Woman.



Finally, to cap the year off, Tina appeared on the channel Ukraina for a new year celebration, wearing a long white ball gown with transparent panels. You might call this outfit a somewhat patriotic choice for Tina, because for the first time this latex dress was not an Atsuko Kudo design, but instead a custom commission from Ukraine’s very own Bright&Shiny latex. It’s also something of an evolution, in the sense of expanding out from the comfort zone of one’s trusted designer and off the shelf designs to wearing a whole new creation, custom made by a new designer.



As for what 2018 might bring and whether Tina Karol will continue flaunting her latex love, we’ll be on the lookout. We do know that there were several promotions and TV shows already filmed in 2017 with Tina wearing latex that have yet to air: at the top of this post you can see at least one of them, Tina wearing the light brown paris pencil dress during filming for The Voice of Ukraine (Golos Krainu). Follow us on twitter for smaller updates, and if the content is really special we’ll follow up with another dedicated post.

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Our Top 10 Music Videos of 2017

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.

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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.

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Yana Dyakova performs opera in latex

Bolshaya Opera is a TV talent show on Russian channel Telekanal Kultura, and earlier this month the contestant Yana Dyakova performed aria della bellezza wearing a black and white latex catsuit and inflatable headpiece.



Latex doesn’t discriminate when it comes to musical genre: In one moment we may be watching Nicky Minaj rapping in consciously trashy latex for Jason Derulo’s Swalla, and in the next we can switch over to the arts channel and see an aria performed in a catsuit!

What’s more, neither of the outfits are out of place. Latex is continually breaking boundaries and confounding expectations. Latex is for whatever your imagination wills it to be.

Yana’s look is styled by her compatriot, the performance artist Sasha Frolova. The catsuit + inflatable head piece is Sasha’s signature look when performing for her music project AQUAAEROBIKA, though Sasha also adds a mask to the ensemble. It’s another demonstration of the varied contexts latex can be adapted to, this being ultra saccharine electro-pop:



And check out this video interview with Sasha Frolova in which she discusses her reasons for working with the material, and her fascination for its unique properties and contradictions here.

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Kimbra – Top of the World


Kimbra’s ‘Top of the World’ is that desired combo: a great song paired with a visually impressive and artistic video which makes use of latex. Adding a little context makes the whole experience all the more perfect, especially when this Behind The Scenes video makes it obvious how much thought was put into the choice of costume for each segment of the video. In Kimbra’s words:

One of the more exciting processes of making a video, for me at least, is conceptualising the fashion and the growth of outfits […] I like when the clothes seem an expressive part of giving the audience a way into the lyric further.

It’s telling that latex enters in the final third where Kimbra acts her most emboldened – feeling “like a god” – while social conditioning and limiting beliefs come crashing down around her. How good that must have felt. Take it from Kimbra herself:

Smashing shit up in latex = my favorite part of the new music video.

It’s an oft-held view that besides its visual allure latex offers a sensation which makes the wearer feel super-powered. Often born of this feeling is a desire and need to transgress social constructions and conventions through self-actualisation. I can think of no better choice of costume for the climactic act of a song entitled ‘Top of the World’.

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.




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.