The Chrysalis Collection also represents a notable technological advance in the design and production of latex fashion — an achievement recognised when Pandora Deluxe owner/designer Magdalena ‘Mags’ Chapman received a European Fetish Award at the same event.
It is not simply that Mags has invested in a laser cutter to produce elements of her garments — although that does give her membership of what is still a pretty exclusive club.
It’s more that she has finally been able to combine her academic background in mathematics and physics with her eye for design — something she’d hoped to do since giving up her Cosmology PhD studies to dedicate herself to latex fashion.
However it was some time before she was able to apply herself seriously to considering how to achieve that aim. She says:
“I only started last spring looking in detail at how to get to the point where I could create a new collection that would combine the two.”
Once she’d decided a laser cutter would have to be a key part of the process, Mags took herself off to a hardware trade show in Birmingham to see what was available, and put in an order.
Her aim by then was to launch a new collection via a fashion show at this year’s GFB. With the laser cutter in the pipeline, she signed up for a 12-week Laser Cutting for Textile Designers course at Central St Martins to aid her design work.
“At first I didn’t think it was great because we weren’t doing much apart from editing files in Illustrator. But it helped me to process all of this. You have to create vector shapes and edit them and if you’re not proficient using Illustrator then you’re going to be stuck.
“Eventually I learnt quite a few interesting things and made some useful contacts. The other thing that came out of it is that I might actually try to do another course at Central St Martins called Material Futures, because it’s a combination of science and fashion.”
Although Mags completed the laser-cutting course in good time, delivery of the machine she’d ordered was delayed, and while waiting for it she had to make do with a smaller model from the same supplier.
By the time the full-size beast arrived, instead of the three months she’d planned on, she had only about six weeks to prototype all the garments she wanted to show in Berlin and “correct any fuck-ups”.
“That’s why I ended up working 15-16-hour days for the last two weeks before the GFB, then missing my flight out and having to book a very expensive flight for the following day,” she recalls with a grimace.
But it was worth it. The mixture of lingerie, dresses, skirts, bras, tops and jackets she put on the GFB catwalk (and all available from her website later this month) combine trademark Pandora Deluxe design features with innovative laser-cut latex net or lace components produced from one of three patterns Chapman has developed.
A fishnet pattern (christened Sonya by the designer) is the simplest of these three. The other two — her Valentina floral filigree ‘eyelash’ lace and an ‘organic structure’ lace net she calls Astra — are intricate designs that Mags spent countless hours developing with a CAD program on her computer.
The lacy patterns are so beautifully and delicately rendered that people who saw pictures of early prototype garments found it hard to believe they were actually made from rubber.
This is probably because a unique aspect of her patterns — and the product of much R&D by the designer — is that they’re delicate looking, yet strong enough to be used as garment panels in their own right, without being laminated onto a backing sheet (a technique some other producers favour).
It means that they can be used equally effectively either for pretty detailing, as with the Valentina Harness Dress in our cover/banner image and our June Special Offer (see full offer details below), or
This works whether the garments are a tight or looser fit. In the latter category, Mags is particularly pleased with the collection’s two new jackets — the Sonya Fishnet Biker Jacket and the Astra Organic Structure Lace Biker/Bomber.
“They can be worn not only with latex but mixed with fabric clothing as well,” she says.
Furthermore she believes the emphasis in the Pandora Deluxe Chrysalis collection on “feminine and pretty” styles that are “not like typical fetishwear” makes the garments eminently suitable for wearing outside the usual fetish environment — for example at regular clubs, parties or restaurants.
In fact, she reveals, the eyelash lace styles were actually conceived as a “boutique collection” that could sit happily alongside ‘normal’ lingerie in a luxury undies store. (This also marks the first time Mags has created garments with wholesale specifically in mind).
Check this claim out for yourself in our two galleries dedicated to the Chrysalis Collection, both shot in Berlin during the GFB weekend.
One was shot backstage at the Ball by Christian Gschweng (who is both a photographer and a talented latex designer in his own right). The other was an outdoor location shoot by Swiss photographer Kink Engineer, who also contributed the cover/banner image of Nephilla for this article.
You can read more about Kink Engineer’s work in general, and this shoot specifically, in the dropdown panel at the end of this article.
I feel obliged at this point to add just one small fact he omits from his very readable piece. During the shoot with Mary D and My Little Vronie in the courtyard of an apartment block near the Ball venue, an elderly resident complained about what he assumed was a porn shoot happening on his doorstep.
“You should be so lucky” is what they very sensibly didn’t say to placate him.
When Mags created her first net and lace patterns on the computer, she wasn’t sure whether using all three styles in one collection was a good idea.
“But I decided to mix ’n’ match, and as you saw in Berlin, it actually worked. I mixed all three patterns together to create one look. You can use the classic eyelash lace to go all classic, or you can use some fishnet, or you can mix it with the organic structure and it works.”
Interestingly, when Chapman first began wondering a few years ago about combining her physics/maths academic background with her latex fashion design interests, developing patterns that could be laser-cut was not her initial direction of thought.
“I was actually thinking about going into materials science in the field of ‘soft matter’ where latex and emulsions and paints are,” she explains.
“But that would have meant going back to uni and that wouldn’t have been so interesting. So I decided not to pursue that path.
“Then a couple of years go, looking at architecture and other designs, I came across these geometric patterns that really interested me. I thought, wow this is really amazing, I really wanted to use this!”
What she had discovered were a series of diagrams developed by a Ukrainian mathematician. They were geometric tessellations — a very specific way of tiling shapes without gaps (like wallpaper patterns), also known as generative art.
One of the tiling patterns she discovered was an organic cell-like structure that could be generated mathematically by a computer algorithm.
It enabled her to develop the nature-mimicking pattern that, translated to latex via her laser cutter, would become a key element of the Chrysalis Collection. The result, she feels with no small justification, is akin to wearable art.READ MORE QUICK LINK:
BELOW: Pandora Deluxe Chrysalis Collection galleries from Berlin by Christian Gschweng and Kink Engineer. Click preview to open gallery then click any thumbnail to view full-size/start slideshow
The Valentina Lace Latex Harness Dress (below) is one of the gorgeous styles in the brand new Pandora Deluxe Chrysalis Collection launched at the German Fetish Ball in Berlin this April.
Featuring beautiful laser-cut latex filigree lace cup detailing, the Lace Latex Harness Dress is one of ten outfits designer Magdalena Chapman put on the GFB catwalk to showcase the advances in technological design and production that have just won her a European Fetish Award.
And now The Fetishistas and Pandora Deluxe have teamed up to offer the Valentina Lace Harness Dress at 30% off normal retail price to Fetishistas Newsletter subscribers, until the end of June 2017.
This is a fantastic opportunity to get this brand new, state-of-the-art, sexy latex dress at a price you will not find anywhere else, and that will not be offered again by this designer.
If you are not yet a newsletter subscriber, it’s simple to sign up here. To take advantage of the offer, you must sign up not later than midnight UK time on June 30, 2017.
Upon sign-up you will receive a welcome e-mail that includes the 30% discount code for the Valentina Lace Latex Harness Dress (check your spam folder if you don’t see the e-mail!). The code is valid for one-time personal use on the Pandora Deluxe website until midnight UK time on Monday July 3, 2017.
Existing newsletter subscribers will automatically receive a newsletter containing the personal one-time offer code. The same ordering deadline of midnight on Monday July 3 applies to existing subscribers.
The Valentina Lace Latex Harness Dress is currently available in Black only.
Standard sizes range from XS to XL, with cup sizes from 32A to 38D. Made-to-Measure is also available on both the dress size and cup size at no extra cost. Please note that made-to-measure orders are non-returnable and non-refundable.
Pandora Deluxe specifies that you should allow 7-8 weeks for production and shipping. Visit the Pandora Deluxe website for more information including shipping options.
This offer is subject to the normal Pandora Deluxe Trading Terms and Conditions.
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