In the world of high fashion, taking inspiration from sub cultures outside of the mainstream is common practice. Goth, Punk, Cyber, Hippy and Raver come and go with the seasons but lately the fashion world is showing its wicked streak and diving headfirst into the world of S&M and Fetish Fashion.
Chokers, collars, leather, straps & buckles have been adorning both the runways and the casual high street shopper for awhile now. However one of the biggest trends appearing on runways and celebrities currently is latex.
Latex is a natural material which looks, feels and moves completely different to any other clothing material. It hugs the figure unlike anything else and has a high gloss, ice cold aesthetic.
Because of the nature of the material it is often made to order or custom fitted to the person. This means that colour combinations are limitless and as are the patterns that can be created.
The need for custom fitting means off the rail latex is very hard (if not impossible) to come by. This ensures that the high street can’t copy the trend making it an exclusive and desirable material in fashion.
HOW TO WEAR LATEX?
Latex is quite fragile and wants to cling to the skin. Because of this suitable lubrication needs to be used to ensure the material isn’t compromised by excess strain being applied trying to pull it on.
Talc and silicone based lubricants are the most popular choices for this role however talc is needlessly messy and can compromise the gloss that can be achieved once the garment is on. Silicone based lubricants also have the added advantage of polishing the latex on the skin, giving the garment an extreme wet look.
IS IT COMFY?
Wearing latex is a unique experience. It is tight, sweaty, prone to riding up the skin with movement and tedious to remove. However it is something that you become used to. If you are someone who struggles to move comfortably when wearing tight clothing avoid cuts that extend below the knee or elbow to maximise ease of movement. A skilled latex designer who is making a custom piece will happily accommodate their clients specifications.
HOW TO LOOK AFTER IT?
Latex is not fabric. You can’t just shove it on the quick wash and tumble dry it. Garments made out of this unusual material require completely different care to any other. They need to be stored out of sunlight (preferably in a garment bag) not touching any metal objects. To clean they should be washed in cool water using a mild, oil free detergent and allowed to drip dry out of sunlight. Before storing for long periods of time ensure the garment is dusted in a light coating of fragrance free talc to help prevent it from sticking together.
LATEX DO’S & DONT’S
- DO: ALWAYS use a silicone based lube to help slip into latex garments and polish their exterior.
- DON’T: use fingernails to pull garments on. Use the pad of the fingertip only. Latex will rip if you are rough.
- DO: Keep latex out of bright light. Bright light distorts the colour and weakens the structure of the material.
- DON’T: Use fragranced talc or detergent. These contain oils that can break down the latex.
- DO: Always wash your hands before handling your garment to avoid putting makeup or other oils onto the latex.