Silicone Valley

There’s a whole lot of plastique going on here but it’s not the luscious patent shoes or oversized bag my attention is drawn towards.  It’s the Paule Ka skirt which seems to be made out of a transparent latex and is a bit of a stunner.  A reader very kindly sent me this image and informed me that in fact, the material is silicone compound, similar to what boob implants are made out of I suspect.  This type of rubbery material reminds me of those brown rubber mouldsthat I used to pour plaster of paris into to hopefully make a perfect twee rabbit/cottage/horse figurine (it would always come out chipped…).  It certainly puts a new spin on the various strands of fetishwear that have infiltrated fashion.  Though a rubbery material like this might have textural affiliation with say black pvc/latex, the colour doesn’t suggest anything risque or raunchy.  I’d definitely like to see more of this kind of play on rubber garments.  Afterall, it is just another material and depending on the way you wear it, there is that ability to blend it in seamlessly with more conventional materials.   

Image from ‘Sur la terre Zürich’ (Thank you Tamar for sending through the scan!)

19 Replies to “Silicone Valley”

  1. Hi Susie
    I love the transparent skirt on red tights! Beautiful!
    The material looks indeed exactly like raw rubber. Things is, genuine rubber in light colors, raw, white, pink, stains VERY easily and permanently. So it would be kind of a craziness to buy this kind of garment to wear in the wild. πŸ˜‰
    What you use to have your rubber shiny is silicon too, so…
    I couldn’t find the dress on the PK site, I’d love to know what exactly it is!
    Makes me want to make one for myself! πŸ™‚

  2. Susie – do you know who the shoes are by in the pic? And they used to make implants out of silicone but I believed they stopped due to the harmful nature of them leaking into your body……unless i’m confusing silicone with something else…..

  3. Meg: I THINK they’re Burberry Prorsum but i can’t be 100% sure as I don’t own the magazine…
    Sophiedoz: I tried to find it on the PK site too…. I’ve seen some rubber garments work ok without staining but not something like this! Oh, and welcome!

  4. Susie, glad you liked the image! I have been on the lookout for a cheap stand-in and may have to look at some automobile/construction catalogues for the material…
    Here are the rest of the pictured items:
    Shoes by Christian Louboutin
    Purse by Yves St. Laurent
    Stockings by Falke

  5. I think this is closer to the material they use for swimming caps than breast implants!
    Hi Susie, I’m really enjoying reading.

  6. Woot! I knew I was going to get a bit of a science/tech lesson out of this… thanks Meg
    Nina: You’re right…definitely more swimming cap like but the colour and the translucency does remind me of those chicken fillets you use to fill out bras…

  7. I have an article on Paule Ka and this collection and there is a jacket made out of the same material as the skirt, it says that it is just rubber. He has used alot of rubber, latex and plastic in this collection.

  8. Tamar, there are actually silicon and latex swimming caps, so it can be confusing as a reference!
    Susie, clear latex stains permanently when in contact with copper and copper residues. It is a real pain. Black, red and other latex dont “show” the stain so it is ok.
    Actually i craft some alt clothing to make ends meet, aside from doind make up. πŸ˜‰

  9. bizarre – that last comment was not posted by sophiedoz… it was posted by me and I am not her…
    stumbled over here from TFS btw

  10. I think Paule Ka’s take on plastic clothing is one of the most wearable. I love the colours, and paired perhaps with traditional fabric pieces, one can easily pull it off. I want to own a silicone skirt now.
    I actually just wrote a piece for my uni’s newspaper about innovations in clothing material. I talked about all these clothing made of plastic and weird textiles and glazing clothes… and how all that doesn’t really fit in with the mass market. But I think in a few years time when designers fine tune their use of strange materials so that we looks more refined rather than just plain crazy wearing rubber.

  11. Yes silicone is very cool. You can also buy it in liquid form in many colors. You can use the liquid by painting or pouring it and it dries out/hardens to create the texture of a condom or like the skirt above. It is used in theatre and in movies for prosthetic wounds, growths, etc. The craziest stuff is the suits they make for fetish wear.

  12. Several fetish-wear designers are actually using transparent and nude-toned latex for clothing that looks just like this, so if people are wanting a (probably slightly cheaper) version of this skirt, try House of Harlot, Atsuko Kudo etc…

  13. Wasn’t there also similar, if much less subtle stuff around a few years ago. They were worn with g-strings on the catwalk, which makes me think possibly in tom ford era of fashion a while ago, and were crudely hailed ‘condom’ skirts. Can anyone remember them?

  14. I know a graduate student who used a lot of silicone in her final collection..
    IF any of you are contemplating getting your hands on one of these.. it may be worth knowing that they are .. of course easy to clean (with regular spray) but can be easily scratched and broken.. although that may depend on the type of silicone used by different designers.
    Nevertheless.. i love it too..

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