For more than 50 years, fetishistic themes and iconography have been increasingly integrated into the changing face of style. But while high heels, corsets and leather have grown to be par for the course, rubberwear keeps being able to turn heads and lift eyebrows. After migrating from battle trenches to fetish organizations, latex clothing now makes the most impact on catwalks and red-colored carpets.
Previously this year, designs in rubberwear squeaked down the the fall/winter catwalks of Gucci, Vivienne Westwood, Balmain, Thierry Mugler and Raf Simons, and also the latex looks donned by Kim Kardashian in the Fulfilled Gala and Rachel Weisz in the Oscars remain many of the most talked-about ensembles of 2019. The Hadid and Jenner clothing collection staple can also be beloved by musicians like Cardi B, Katy Perry, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj. Latex fashion has played a starring role in some of the most pivotal put-tradition times from the decade, sported by Rihanna in her own notorious SAndM songs video clip, by Miley Cyrus at her debatable 2013 VMA overall performance, and Lady Gaga, when she met the Princess. Countless head lines prove that this blend of latex and celebrity continues to be deemed newsworthy.
Latex, long viewed as a thing that necessitated secrecy or censorship, is currently recognized with hypervisibility. Even though rubberwear is in the midst of a mass media renaissance, its journey from Brazilian rainforests to secretive dungeons and now center phase has become 200 years within the making.
Though natural rubber latex comes to get associated with futurism and technology, its origins are historic and organic. Latex is a milky liquid that oozes from over 20,000 plant varieties after cells injuries. The sap-like compound, which coagulates and hardens to form an elastic and water-proof mass, is tapped by making careful cuts with small blades. The New York-dependent latex designer called the Baroness tells BBC Designed: “People frequently mistake latex for Pvc material, and consider it as shiny, small, attractive and cheap. But natural rubberized latex is completely vegan, sustainable, fragile and hard to work with”.
Use of natural rubber dates back to Mesoamerica in 1600 BC, in the Maya, Aztec and Olmec cultures (Olmec is surely an Aztec term, meaning “rubber people”). South America remained the main source of latex until 1876, when Henry Wickham, within an act of botanical piracy, smuggled 70,000 Amazonian rubberized tree plant seeds out of Brazil and into England. These seedlings ultimately made their approach to more compatible climates in India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Malaysia, countries that nowadays rank among the largest producers of natural rubberized. During the commercial trend, latex became a hugely beneficial colonial resource. To tap these huge supplies, horrifically violent methods cxhvvn imposed on forced labourers within the Brazilian Amazon . com and King Leopold’s Congo, in which failure to fulfill extremely hard quotas was punished with mutilation and sometimes death.
Sex and energy – Rubber’s distinctive qualities managed to make it suitable for use as defensive clothes, specifically in medication and warfare. Outfit historian Fiona Jardine, through the Glasgow School of Art, explains its 19th-Century uses: “When it had been bonded to pre-existent fabrics, rubberized enhanced the performance of overcoats, hats, gaiters and dress protectors, when travel, public congregation and urban life became more prevalent within the west”. As rubberized clothing improved in recognition, some users got to discover it had been both practical and sexually enjoyable. “It’s the most sensuous material there is”, says The Baroness, “because it has a unique appear, odor, taste, sound and feel.”