Latex Fashion Show Story (from Red Umbrella)
I was invited to tell a story at Red Umbrella Diaries on Sept 1 about my experiences in the Fashion and Sex Work.
Here is the story I told (minus the ad-libbing, but plus extra pics!)
How does one dress for sex work? There aren’t sex work catalogs that list out different uniforms for the nuances of prostitute personalities.
-some Strip clubs tell the dancers whether to wear pasties, a bikini or a gown
-Role play scenarios make it easier, the Naughty Nurse, slutty schoolgirl, the Pin up princess.
But what about when youre crafting your own brand, marketing the image of your sexwork?
When I first went independent as a Pro Domme, on my own, no longer working in a Dungeon or catering to a small scene, I did some research and I encountered “the rules” These rules were enforced by a group– that discretion bids me leave un-named , and were the criterion to being a true Woman of Power. including:
-Having at least 3 separate outfits that convey your craft and mastery- got that one covered
-You must never referr to yourself as submissive, a switch, or presentyourself in image, word, or action as less than Dominant- no problem, when I was starting out I too saw power as black or white.
The message was clear– image was everything. Altho I was trained by old guard Masterly types in the DC fetish scene I was barely 19, Domming since 17, and thus was faking it till I made it. So, now on my own in Pittsburgh, pretending to be 25 and dangerously at risk of being called a GWW, a Goth with Whip, I took note. It wasn’t just my ego at stake, it was also my personal brand, and that meant paying the bills (and of course being able to buy the latex I couldn’t otherwise afford
Flash forward a few years, and a few too many stalkers later, and I decide its time to transition away from being a Pro Domme and into the illustrious vocation of Fetish Artist- read: switch, model, performer, visual artist, designer the moon the stars and the kitchen sink. I was tired of the rigid role I had been confined to, and I wanted more. But could I transition?
I moved back to DC, and was hired as the House Domme of BOUNDDC, which filled my weekends while I went to art school, toured for photoshoots and my self-bondage performances. That’s when I began making art out of latex, and latex clothing shortly thereafter. It was exhilarating to be designing clothes that others would wear for their sexytime, and even better to be able to concoct my own custom fantasies for all the new shades of grey from which I previously hid.
However my grayscale would soon be tested during my first fashion show at BOUND (Designing in collaboration with SLYX Fashions). As the House Domme, I had a certain image to maintain, however sometimes my Domly Dommeness was at odds with my desire to rebrand and broaden my horizons— not to mention entice more varied play partners for my own private sexcapades. Nonetheless, it took me a long time to cut the Domme image and glue it back together as the mosaic you see before you today.
It went like this-
The runway was the main bar, and to get onto it you had to begin by crawling on your knees, which I worked into the choreography of the show, so the models could tableaux at different heights, accentuating diff design elements while leaving room for the more modular outfits. 12 new latex designs, 8 models of all genders. Everything from classic black catsuits, to translucent fleshtones with asymmetrical hemlines (ripped off, erm inspired by, NY fashion week the month before). Worn Underneath two catsuits were layers of scandalously skimpy clothes- with carefully positioned flame appliques over nipples and crotch—the theme of that show– and so that the bar wouldn’t kvetsch about losing their liquor license. 2 models had costume changes, that moved from classic princess seams and the ubiquitous fetish club crop top and booty shorts and ended with peekaboo keyholes with lace panels, and my personal favourite the latex Hijab.
My ex-husband in a cat suit next to my boyfriend in latex jeans and suspenders, next to my service boy in the armless straight jacket, and the pretty boy in the rolling vac bed. My ex-husband’s new wife in a translucent fleshtone dress that looked like the lovechild of Versace and JP Gaultier, replete with, you guessed it, flames over the salient parts. My best friend from high school, donning the catsuit, with her real and applique fire crotch waiting underneath. My friend the stripper, from Hijab to a miles long mermaid tail skirt, and flame shaped pasties, with her matching 10 inch flame platforms. BUT one of the models didn’t show up leaving no one to wear the bra and booty short combo. My best seller, my easiest to make. My latex ice breaker.
SPAZZ, existential spazz! That’s definitely not my image, not likely to get the subs to line up later that night. But that image of me, bare midriff like a chubby goth club-kid, crawling down the catwalk… had the potential to undo years of my obsessive and meticulous image crafting..and OMG I might be labeled the dreaded GWW. What was a newly transitioning switch to do from behind the gilded bars of her paradigm birdcage? The owner of the club just shook his head and made some comment that a girl as thick as me just doesn’t look good in a two piece, and while I hated him for saying so I knew it didn’t look flattering. But as they say, the show must go on, and an incomplete show only hurts me in the end. So I pulled those booty shorts up as high as theyd go giving myself a shiny black camel toe, stretched on the two tone bra, pinching my nipples extra hard so they’d poke through the thin latex of the cups. And out I went.
No corset. No waist cincher. No wide belt. No fishnet shirt.
No hood and no mask.
And I never looked back.
*some details have been licensed artistically