Latex corsets and rubber slip dresses used to be confined to the boudoir, but now fetishwear is hitting the high street.
Once considered too sexy for everyday wear, leather leggings and PVC skirts have become a fashion staple. Now it’s the turn of latex. While pregnant, the reality TV star Kim Kardashian was spotted in a dusty pink knee-length latex dress by the fetish couture designer Atsuko Kudo. Sales of the £300 dress rocketed. Rita Ora, Taylor Swift and Nicole Scherzinger have also worn the London-based label.
Now high-street retailers are selling latex clothes, which are often so tight they require the wearer to lubricate before dressing. The online retailer Asos is stocking lingerie and slip dresses by the latex brand House of Harlot. Prices start at £63 for a thong and rise to £200 for a dress.
“We’ve had an enormously positive reaction,” Rachel Miles, a buyer at Asos, said.
Some sizes quickly sold out and the website has placed a repeat order of the collection and commissioned the brand to design an exclusive collection of ready-to-wear pieces, which is due to launch in May.
Fetishwear has become a popular theme on the catwalk, too. Glossy thigh-high vinyl boots in black, red and green featured in both Dior’s couture and winter collections last year, and have been worn by Erin O’Connor, the model, and Rihanna.
“Latex shows up in high-end fashion brand collections with increasing regularity,” Robin Archer, the owner of House of Harlot, said. Last year, the brand made 700 pairs of latex stocking for Marc Jacobs and their client list also includes Louis Vuitton and Balenciaga.
The trend could be thanks, in part, to the increasing popularity of fetish club nights. Asos began stocking House of Harlot just in time for the London fetish club Torture Garden’s new year party.