Fashion + Fetish
From the wipe clean PVC of a Soho-esque catsuit to the current fad for visible toe cleavage, titillation has long had a place in fashion. However, the many different forms that fetish takes constantly surprise with every new designer who incorporates it into their work, whether as a statement, an embellishment or a wholehearted theme. Two up and coming designers who undoubtedly have a provocative vein running through the core of their work - and whose work The Glass Pineapple has a bit of a thing for - are Atsuko Kudo and Fannie Schiavoni.
Latex loving Atsuko Kudo and chain metal enthusiast Fannie Schiavoni portray a similar work fetish, although their intricate designs are worthy of a much deeper interpretation than just the risqué. Despite the obvious sexual overtones, the aesthetics of these designers are far more creative and fiercely feminine than they might seem at first glance.
Take the fabulous rubber designs from Japanese born Atsuko Kudo - sexually charged and undeniably fetish-led yes but also demonstrating amazing craft, immaculate design and fashion forward techniques. Given the highly original designs Kudo creates, it’s no wonder that her biggest admirer is non other than fashion adventurer Lady Gaga. Over the years, Gaga has enlisted Kudo to make a selection of one-off pieces including the famous ruby red Elizabethan ruffle gown she wore to meet the Queen. Whilst latex might have links to 'late night' it can also be used to create very feminine, desirable ensembles that are multi-functional and extremely style-focused. And it doesn't always have to spell 'hooker chic' - as the designer herself said, “Latex doesn’t need to be terrifying, it is a second skin and is actually really beautiful and it would seem such a pity to leave it alone.”
Fannie Schiavoni is another of our favourites, an accessory designer who cleverly incorporates elements of bondage and medieval armor in her work. She describes her aesthetic as “powerful yet sensual, Swedish yet bold" and says she is heavily drawn to raw, androgynous and dark designs.
Whilst the easy option would be to view her chain metal work as being rather raunchy, this overlooks the intricate handcraft and passion poured into every piece that has been painstakingly handmade, ring-by-ring and scale by scale. The result is a mainstream crossover range that has that flicker of fetish in the context of a delicate design process that is heavy on skill and has already attracted the likes of Naomi Campbell and Rihannna. Tailoring is vital to these creations, as designing how the piece will hang and follow the shape of the body requires immense precision. The intense focus on quality and line is about as far from a hive-inducing sex shop creation as you could get - and much more exciting. Fannie herself said, “I want my designs to be strong and powerful, but subtle. I don't think I design ‘in your face’ or offensive pieces. I'd like to think it's more sophisticated than that.” We’d be inclined to agree.
Words by Katie Farley, Edited by GP