This Should Be Your Neighborhood Latex Source
Once reserved for superheroes, S&M madams and Halloween vixens, latex is of late fashion’s favorite new textile. It’s been stretched across countless celebrities, like Rihanna, Heidi Klum and, of course, Lady Gaga, who wears it on the way to the airport, onstage, and even on Good Morning America. “Latex has become less of a guarded secret than it used to be,” says O’Shay Nunn, the product and design manager of LA-based latex label Syren. Since 1994, Syren has created couture latex fashions for Hollywood’s elite, like Katy Perry’s custom latex dresses, an assortment of sexy looks and accessories for Britney Spears, Catwoman’s jumpsuit in Batman Returns, and tear-away costumes for the Scissor Sisters (apparently, singer Jake Shears likes to have the option of ripping off his duds while performing.). When Interview wants to get custom latex for a shoot, this is where we go.
“There are really talented young designers [discovering latex] and taking it in directions that many haven’t seen before. Latex hasn’t been used a million ways for centuries. It’s new. And that is exciting for a designer,” says Nunn. Case in point, the Fall 2011 runways. Marc Jacobs showed a sophisticated range of latex trousers, button-up blouses, and laser-cut skirts. Naturally, Nicola Formichetti took the material in a risqué direction at Mugler via latex bras, leggings, and vampy second-skin dresses. Ricardo Tisci turned it into at once naughty and demure ruffled skirts and varsity jackets at Givenchy. And, after looking at Christopher Kane’s rainbow latex resort 2012, it’s clear that the material isn’t just for fetish-fueled bedroom antics anymore.
“For many, fashion is fetish. Fashion can inspire people, turn them on and scare them… that sounds very fetish to me,” says Nunn. According to the production manager, Syren’s hand-crafted stockings, opera gloves, metallic leggings, and halter dresses, some of which are adorned with playful lip or butterfly appliqués, are among their most popular items. But, he adds, those more daring among us might use a semi-transparent leggings in flesh tones to make you look like a Replicant from Blade Runner. “Or, you can go totally New Wave hooker and get latex leggings in semi-transparent hot pink, which is my fave,” he says. “A latex corset is a great piece that gives your body an amazing shape and can be worn over a simple fabric dress. Add some classic stilettos and you have the perfect combination of fetish and fashion.”
No, latex may not be the new denim. But sporting a saucy accessory or slipping on a simple scoop-neck can bring a little danger to your look. What’s the secret to wearing latex? “Confidence and a lot of lube!” says Nunn.