Latex on Fashion Week Runways

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A Full Statement Fashion designers and their quadrennial inspirations look for new materials to add an electrifying dash of edginess to their designs, only to realize that there has to be a fashion-forward way to incorporate these unlikely suspects into a runway show. Latex has recently evolved as one such material that fashion designers are indeed using for avant-garde and innovative designs. It is no secret that traditionally, latex had been associated with the underground, sex culture, and fetish wear, while today, there are runway shows featuring luxury latex like never before. Full-length “fetish” gowns made out of latex are being strutted down runways from Paris to New York City, gaining the attention of fashion enthusiasts and the inherently curious.

The Glossy and Nearly Patent

Latex is a stretchy, smooth, and skin-tight material that is known for its sleek feel and perfect silhouette. Once the material is illuminated under low, controlled lighting, the glossy finish sings a very different tune. The effect on the eyes of those who witness a latex material being worn is simply hypnotic. Even when pulled taut across panels of skin that are not entirely smooth, you can’t help but try turning away and looking again. Frequently described as a futuristic material, it is found and likely experienced in every mainstream fashion nook and cranny across a host of different platforms.

Moving From the Fringe to the Mainstream

Designers like Atsuko Kudo, and labels like Maison Margiela have been fairly successful in helping to re-introduce latex to the broader fashion market. Their collections defy expectations, including a variety of styles in the material – from elegant gowns to refined separates – proving that latex can be sexy as well as sophisticated.

Styling Latex for Everyday

While wearing latex anywhere other than the bedroom might seem risky, it’s all about balance. A latex skirt or pair of pants can be softened when paired with a soft, oversized cashmere jumper. They give a nod to the material’s subversive connotations while ensuring you stay comfortable and chic. A pair of longer-length latex gloves or a choker also add a touch of avant-garde to a relatively tame outfit. For those more ready to show some skin, a full latex dress can be made daytime-appropriate by teaming it with minimal accessories. The standout style of a latex dress shines when it becomes the focal point.

The Future of Latex in Fashion

As we see a growing influence of sustainability in the fashion industry, latex is also changing. The production of latex is eco-friendly, as it comes from renewable resources in the form of rubber trees. Latex fabric was initially seen as relatively uncomfortable and sticky, but an increased understanding of the manufacturing process has seen progress in both comfort and breathability.

Making a Statement at Fashion Week.

When it comes to the world of fashion, Fashion Week is the ultimate playing field for independent designers to showcase their innovative designs and creativity. The inclusion of latex on the runway is no fluke and speaks to the desires of young creators who refuse to entertain the notion that conventional fabrics are the only worthy ones. Clothes don’t just serve to make you look stunning; they are a medium through which to communicate a message. And latex most certainly says: “I’m wearing this, and I’m fierce”. It serves as a platform that mocks traditional ideals of beauty and style, opening the medium to a wider variety of thoughts and bodies. This is fashion as art at its greatest.


The cementing of latex in the high fashion industry is not some crush; it’s a revolution rooted in the use of new, innovative materials. The message it delivers, combined with the material’s characteristic beauty, is what makes it an essential part of any collection. The possibilities are ground-breaking, and growing, so be in no doubt that latex will keep cropping up; in collections and at fashion events. The substance is becoming more popular, more widely used, and infinitely more sustainable. No matter if you’re a designer, a stylist, or simply a lover of fashion, the fact is clear: latex is out, latex is about, and it does not look to be simply going anywhere.

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