Men, let’s face it, have been poorly served by latex designers for far too long.
It’s largely our own fault of course. While we’re more than happy to encourage women on the fetish scene to take full advantage of the fantastic choice of sophisticated and sexy latex styles available to them, far too many of us chaps still go for the most basic outfits that will get us past the doorbitch.
To an extent this is of course a reflection of the differences in how men and women dress in the non-fetish world — men dress conservatively and women dress colourfully.
But some of the blame does lie at the doors of designers, who have found it satisfying and profitable to give women the choice in latex that they have learnt to demand from “straight” fashion, while their men’s ranges tend to look more like afterthoughts.
Well, maybe the new male range from Libidex could be the revolution in men’s latex that the scene has been waiting for. There’s a lot more still to come, but what we’ve seen so far is certainly a step in the right direction.
Libidex:Man is the first collection of clothing for men from Libidex for a few years, and has been over a year in the creation. A lot of hard work and dedication from Libidex owner Simon Rose — always one of the scene’s most flamboyant dressers — and his team of designers has gone into creating this range, which consists of more than 180 new pieces.
Libidex:Man, says Simon, is aimed at a broad audience — from latex aficionados to clubbers, from party-goers to people who just want to look a bit different or try out latex for the first time.
It offers a full wardrobe for the man who loves his latex: from a full set of tailcoats, dress shirts and smart trousers, through to polo shirts, tracksuits, vests, T-shirts, aprons, skirts, shorts, briefs, jock-straps and G-strings.
The collection is divided into five ranges, each with its own particular style.
Dandy Man has been created for the man who “wants to be the best-dressed guest at the party”, offering a cool choice of sharp suits, shirts and trousers with clever quirky twists in latex.
Dandy Man is for the man who wants to be the best- dressed at the party, offering sharp suits, shirts and trousers with clever twists
Flash Man is a range with lots of classic styles that have been given a new look in latex, from cowboy shirts to combat trousers, polo shirts and jeans jackets, and should appeal to newcomers to latex clothing.
Fit Man offers a taste of sportswear, featuring tight-cut vests, boxing shorts, tracksuits and wrestling suits, all with a strong latex look. These garments can be combined with items from the other ranges to create an individual look.
Hard Man is a range of latex with the more traditional tastes in mind — but with a modern makeover. Said to be ideal for clubs and parties, these clothes offer a choice of look from the more minimal aprons to full-on male skirts.
Finally, Fresh Man takes a fresh look at some old favourites and a few new ideas, comprising essentials and classics such as T-shirts, shorts, leggings, jocks, G-strings and briefs.
The new collection will be launched range by range over the next few weeks, and each new range will be offered on the Libidex website at a discount of 20 percent for the week of its launch. The first two ranges, launched this week, are Dandy Man and Flash Man.
In addition, a selection of samples used in the photoshoots for the new range is on sale at the Libidex Covent Garden boutique, Liberation.
Says Simon, “We've designed the range so that many items can be worn together to create complete latex outfits, or even mixed with your own ‘ordinary’ clothes.
“We've photographed a lot of styles in many different and good-looking male colours to give our customers the opportunity to widen their wardrobe and choose the colours and designs that suit them best.”
We suspect the new Libidex:Man collection will stimulate the market at least as much as an earlier Libidex venture into men’s clothing, the Raw Rubber range, which took some interesting new directions with this unusual matt finish latex.
Unfortunately the matt fabric proved not to have the strength of standard latex sheeting, and the range was discontinued after a while.
But it was this experimental new direction that led Libidex to do more research into latex production in Malaysia. The result was the launch of Radical Rubber, which now supplies a healthy proportion of all the sheet latex bought by latex clothing designers around the world.
So every cloud has a silver lining. Or, you might even say, a metallic silver lining.
We suspect the new Libidex collection will stimulate the market at least as much as its earlier venture into men’s clothing with Raw Rubber