Top Of The Top - Sopot Festival 2018

Michał Szpak – Sopot Top of the Top Festival

For quite some time, the mere occurrence of a musician or celebrity wearing latex has ceased to be an unusual event in itself.

Time was, it took an artist with a certain reputation for eccentricity and non-conformity in order to push the envelope and wear these most eye-catching, and strange, outfits of rubber.

Partly due to their efforts, and partly due to the rise of latex couture, latex wear has spread from these fashion outliers to the mainstream core of pop culture, with presumably not much more ground – or taboos – to break. Even overt references to the fetish culture from which latex clothing sprang are now accepted as part of the normal iconography of the performer or fashionista; “Stars will be stars.”

However, all of the above assumes one crucial fact: we’re talking about women.

 

Michal Szpak - Top of the Top Festival 2018 (1)

Michał Szpak performing at last month’s Top of the Top Festival in Sopot, Poland

 

Of course, men’s fashion does not have the same scope to be flamboyant or as out-there as women’s, and there is a whole host of reasons (that we won’t go into here) why this may be the case.

But even limiting the scope of our discussion to the famous, it still seems that few male performers are really taking advantage of their rock cred – their license to be larger than life – and breaking free of convention.

Not like we’ve seen in bygone generations, in any case.

Where are the New Romantics? The Punks? The Glam Rockers of today? We need new and exciting music, fashion and cultural movements to spur the kind of flamboyance and explosion of individuality and expression which marked those previous eras. And like female celebs have become trendsetters and brought latex fashion into the consciousness, perhaps we need genuine leaders, strong personalities, to show men also: There can be another way.

 

Michal Szpak - Top of the Top Festival 2018 (2)

Szpak was a finalist on X Factor Poland, and later represented Poland in the Eurovision Song Contest, 2016

 

Michał Szpak may be too little known to be that influence. But hopefully he’s only a little ahead of his time. We salute Michał for putting some glam back into rock. Oh but this is no retro revival; latex is as bleeding edge as it gets.

I’m not entirely sure what I wanted to say with the post; but I guess it’s something like this: we’ve reached a stage where women’s latex fashion is in the mainstream consciousness almost daily; it would be nice not to have to wait years to witness another occurrence of men’s latex in the public eye.

Oh and the ‘L with a stroke’ letter is pronounced like the English ‘w’. Always been curious about that one!