Once upon a time, latex was used for those handy cleaning gloves, Band-Aids…and other things. But these days, the fabric is stretching its territory to include skin-tight, ultra-sexy little designs. With Kim Kardashian and Rita Ora leading the pack of latex ladies as of late, the flexible fabric has gone high fashion. And who is the lady responsible for this new trend? London-based designer Atsuko Kudo.
“I loved latex from when I was studying fashion in Tokyo. I found it in a sex shop there and loved it so much I had to move to London to find a way to work with it,” Kudo shared exclusively to E! News. “It’s shiny, glossy and feels like a second skin.”
While it might feel like a second skin, donning the rubbery fabric isn’t quite as simple as sliding on a latex glove. And there’s nothing worse (or more agonizingly uncomfortable) than trying to slip into the natural fabric when it just won’t budge.
“Latex is not easy and it is not like regular fabrics. It is a fetish fabric— you have to really want it. So you have to use some glide products to dress tight latex but the results speak for themselves. If the designs are cut correctly,” Kudo says, adding: “The fabric is amazing but you have to cut it well to fit perfectly— bad fitting latex is not desirable. I always want every woman I dress to look beautiful, feminine and strong. So that is what I am aiming for each time I design the pieces.”
The couture latex designer’s duds range from daring little dresses to risqué lingerie (and no, not the American Horror Story kind). While Kudo’s been in the biz for nearly a decade and boasts a long list of A-list clients from Rihanna to Lady Gaga, her work with Kim K began only last fall.
“One of our stylist friends asked us to send some pieces for Kim in August last year— then Kim wore the pieces straight away,” Kudo said. “First in NYC to see one of [Kanye West]’s shows and then when she won GQ Woman of the Year here in London. It was an instant hit!”
By no stretch of the imagination is this fetish fabric anything but the du jour material of the moment, and we haven’t seen the last of Kudo’s designs.
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