Fashion Fetishism: 5 Times Sh*t Got Weird on the SS17 Runway
Sex and fetishism may not have always been welcome in the world of high-fashion, but recently it seems as though the fashion world can’t get enough whips, latex, and PVC. Hood by Air is arguably leading the charge, with its slick, patent leather-heavy collections; for FW16, they offered patent leather pants in red and black, rubber waders, and styled the looks with patent leather red and black thigh-high stilettos that they found at a stripper store. And recently, they worked with Office Magazine on a titillating and highly X-rated editorial starring strippers from Atlanta’s legendary strip club, Magic City.
On the heels of fashion month, we’re looking back on the kinkiest moments from the SS17 runway shows.
1. Hood by Air
For their SS17 collection, Hood by Air teamed up with Pornhub for a sexually charged collection that redefined what it means to be a hustler. The show included an appearance from Wolfgang Tillmans, plus just about everything lecherous and kinky; it was leather- and patent-leather-heavy, complete with hanging straps reminiscent of whips, and very NSFW hair that was made to look like it was washed with semen.
“HBA has become a fetish in more ways than one. It’s become a fashion fetish,” Designer Shayne Oliver told Dazed. “You see it, you view it, and we’ve become one of the top-reviewed fashion shows to watch, which is what everyone does with porn. It’s similar to the way that someone like Robert Mapplethorpe placed his inspiration within sex… it’s a form of sex work.”
2. Eric Schlösberg
In Eric Schlösberg’s SS17 collection, thigh-high, black and red patent leather boots figured prominently—similar to the ones we saw in HBA’s FW16 collection. There was also a sheer duster, in addition to body-hugging looks and slinky dresses. The overall effect was sexed-up punk rock—and so it kind of made sense when Schlösberg told us after his show that the collection was partially inspired by Anna Nicole Smith.
For his second Balenciaga collection, Demna Gvasalia explored the relationship between high fashion and fetishism, with a collection dripping in fetishistic materials. There were PVC boots, latex capes, reams of spandex pants, and rubber-leather parkas. As the show notes apparently confirmed, the collection was “an exploration of the intimate relationship between couture and fetishism.”
Margiela’s diffusion line, MM6, presented its SS17 collection on a handful of creepy mannequins covered in paint. Apparently exploring romantic relationships and “modern digital obsessions,” the collection included a ton of clear PVC, oversized linebacker-like shoulder pads, and denim—and, when styled on lifeless mannequins, resembled modern-day sex dolls.
Victor Barragán’s SS17 collection was modern, purposefully disjointed, and rife with unexpected cutouts and unlikely fabric combinations. There were lots of gold rings, sometimes linked together into chains; leather pants; clear PVC; chokers that resembled balls; and even a zippered thong. If this wasn’t new-age fetishism at its best, we don’t know what is.
Stay tuned to Milk for more whips and latex.