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- About Fetish Fashion
- Guide to Buying Latex Clothing
- Guide to Buying Leather Clothing
- Caring for Leather Clothing
- Caring for Latex Clothing
- Caring for Vinyl Clothing
- Caring for Suede Clothing
- Guide to Lacing a Corset
- Northbound Leather Info
- Fun Fetish Facts
What is Fetish Fashion?
Fetish fashions are sometimes confused with costuming, because both are usually understood to be clothing that is not worn as the usual wardrobe of people, and is instead worn to create a particular reaction.
Fetish fashions are usually considered to be separate from those clothing items used in cosplay, whereby these exotic fashions are specifically used as costuming to effect a certain situation rather than to be merely worn; such as the creation of a character for picture play. However, sometimes the two areas do overlap. For example, in Japan, many themed restaurants have waitresses who wear costumes such as a suit made of latex or a stylized French maid outfit.
Latex Clothing Fetish
Latex fetish is the fetishistic attraction to latex clothing or garments and is sometimes called rubber fetishism. Latex or rubber fetishists may refer to themselves as "Rubberists". One variety of latex fetish involves the attraction to transparent rubber.
Latex fetish involves wearing clothing made from latex, observing it worn by others, and having sexual fantasies about wearing latex garments, catsuits, hoods, divers or industrial protective clothing. A common latex fetish icon is the dominatrix wearing a skin-tight glossy black latex or PVC catsuit.
Latex rubber as a clothing material is common in fetish fashion and among BDSM practitioners, and is often seen worn at fetish clubs. Latex is sometimes also used by couturiers for its dramatic appearance. Worn on the body it tends to be skin-tight, producing a "second skin" effect. There are several magazines dedicated to the use and wearing of it.
Latex clothing is generally made from large sheets of latex which are delivered in rolls. The "classic" colour for fetishistic latex clothing is black, but latex is naturally translucent, and may be dyed any colour, including metallic shades or white. It can come in many different thicknesses ranging from about 0.18 mm thick up to whatever the manufacturer of the sheeting chooses, commonly this is about 0.5 mm though. Instead of being sewn, latex clothing is generally glued along its seams.
Because latex sheet is relatively weak, latex clothing needs special care to avoid tearing. Whilst latex can be repaired using materials similar to those provided in a bicycle repair kit, the result is rarely as attractive as the original appearance of the garment.
Latex clothing is often polished to preserve and improve its shiny appearance.
PVC & Vinyl Clothing Fetish
PVC and Vinyl are two other shiny materials used for clothing from regular street wear (raincoats) to PVC Hazmat suits and other forms of industrial protective clothing. And just like latex these materials became more noted as fetish material in the 1960s and early 1970s. During that era boots and garments made of pvc and vinyl were made and worn in public areas to some degrees. And in the media the most obvious was the British TV programm The Avengers. Also, a lot more underground fetish production houses were started, which published magazines such as "Shiny", "Shiny's International", "Rubberist" and "Dressing for Pleasure".
Leather Clothing Fetish
Today, the leather subculture is one of many facets to semi-organized alternative sexuality. Many individuals describe long periods of introspection leading to their choice to identify as "leather". Others do not necessarily associate their leather lifestyle with BDSM, and simply enjoy the sensory experience of leather.
Leather subcultural practices have also become a common, though perhaps not widespread, element of the goth subculture.
The leather subculture denotes practices and styles of dress organized around sexual activities. Wearing leather garments is one way that participants in this culture self-consciously distinguish themselves from mainstream sexual cultures. Leather culture is reflected in various ways in the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and straight worlds. Many people associate leather culture with BDSM (Bondage/Discipline, Dominance/Submission, Sado/Masochism, also called "SM" or "S&M") practices and its many subcultures. But for others, wearing black leather clothing is an erotic fashion that expresses heightened masculinity or the appropriation of sexual power; love of motorcycles and independence; and/or engagement in sexual kink or leather fetishism.
Styles of dress associated with leather culture had an influence on mainstream pop culture. It may be seen in the chains and leather or denim and leather look espoused by rock and heavy metal bands. There are numerous popular images of Elvis from the 1960s fully clothed in black leather. 1970s rock acts such as Kiss, Black Sabbath etc. also wore an abundance of black leather garments. An early popular practitioner of this look in a heavy metal context was Rob Halford, the lead singer of the influential British heavy metal band Judas Priest. Halford (who is himself openly gay) wore a leather costume on stage as early as 1978, a look he described as originating in the gay leather subculture.