The Bedfordshire-born 24-year-old is breaking new ground with her distinctive sheet latex designs and her collaborations with some of the hottest latex clothing brands.
In recognition of what she has already achieved, her Yummy Gummy label was awarded the Best New Idea/Start-Up prize at May’s European Fetish Awards in Berlin.
Now a familiar face, along with her partner Sam, exhibiting at the UK’s monthly Birmingham Bizarre Bazaar, as well as at Germany’s annual Fetish Evolution and German Fetish Ball weekends, Rebecca has worked hard to make fetish fashion brighter and livelier.
While initially known for her sheet latex, she has, for the last year, had her own distinctive Yummy Gummy clothing range too — a collection of colourful swirls, textures, florals, sparkles and patterns fashioned into flattering shapes in sizes ranging from tiny to plus size.
In addition, she’s a popular model and continues to work in front of the camera, including fetish fashion video reportage for the online channel LatexFashion.tv.
It’s easy to see her appeal, given her perfect complexion and her English rose appearance, which seems extremely popular with fetish men in particular.
Rebecca is refreshingly forthcoming about her early start: “I started modelling about six years ago, maybe seven, because I was vain and thought that I could give it a go.
“I tried the London agencies but I was too short so I shot with local photographers.” In some ways this early foray into modelling was instrumental in the development of Yummy Gummy Latex.
Her affection for latex wasn’t instantaneous, however. She was first introduced to it in a photo shoot while still at university reading psychology, but struggled to work her way into a neck-entry latex suit.
It was only after, when looking at the resulting photos, that Rebecca saw the allure and potential of this material. Her curiosity now piqued, she was keen to own latex of her own, but as a student, latex fashion was out of her reach.
EURO STARS: Top European models Dutch Dame and Honeyhair in Yummy Gummy latex at this year’s Fetish Evolution Weekend in Essen (photo: TheBlackSheep Group)
Fortunately she got to know photographer Matthew Brown, who taught her how to make latex sheeting for her first garments.
Brown had worked years earlier with latex sheeting for his own companies and had leftover liquid latex, and, says Rebecca, “He mentioned that just a few months earlier he had been contacted by an old customer asking to buy some latex off him all these years later.
“After taking home a few pots of latex in exchange for my time as a model, I started making some small sheets of latex.”
Her efforts soon attracted interest both online and at markets. It confirmed Matthew’s assertion to her that no one else could make latex like she now could, and that people were ready and waiting for it.
“After deciding that maybe I could make latex in to a profitable hobby or even a viable business, I bought his remaining latex and started Yummy Gummy Sheet Latex around April 2013.”
Suspecting she was onto something by offering latex in a wide variety of patterns and colours, Rebecca decided to take the plunge with a Yummy Gummy stand at Birmingham Bizarre Bazaar (Europe’s largest monthly fetish market).
On the day, she turned up with just a few sheets of her handmade latex, after a model hired earlier disappeared with almost all the sample garments she’d had made up to demonstrate how her latex could be used in clothes.
(Unbeknown to Rebecca, the poor model had been rushed to hospital and was uncontactable until after the BBB, at which point the clothes were retrieved.)
While the plus-size clothing designer Susey Phoenixx quickly snapped up her work, Rebecca says BBB’s organiser was less impressed by her sparse booth and had decided Yummy Gummy would not be making another appearance there.
Luckily Latex 101 owners Stewart and Richard saw the potential of the sheets, and urged BBB’s organiser to reconsider his decision and allow the young entrepreneur back.
BBB is where Rebecca says she cut her teeth as a designer and as a brand, having the opportunity to
It’s also the scene of some of her proudest moments, convincing newcomers to latex to try it on, and to realise how beautiful the right latex can be.
DENUDED: Rebecca makes the best of her sparsely-stocked Yummy Gummy stand at her very first Birmingham Bizarre Bazaar in 2013, after most of her clothing samples went missing
But it’s also working with other designers that fuels her creativity and passion, and that too has provided some of her proudest moments, such as when designers halfway around the world like Dawn Mostow of Dawnamatrix buy her work.
Other Yummy Gummy collaborative highlights include a range of forest scenes for London’s Ausrie Fel latex brand; Canadian brand Adala Clothing; pieces from House of Harlot yet to be unveiled; and a special commission for Vice Magazine/Intel Australia.
There have been patterned hoods from Dayne Henderson that ended up on stage on Lady Gaga and her dancers; and blood-splattered latex used in Pandora DeLuxe‘s sexy range.
Plus there are new Bondinage pieces recently showcased at the two major German events; plus-size fashion from Susey Phoenixx; and her ongoing relationship with Latex 101 — for whom Rebecca creates exclusive Yummy Gummy prints.
Both Rebecca and partner Sam are passionate about what they produce, but are sometimes frustrated by the common misconceptions about the their sheet product, which is often mistaken for printed latex.
Each Yummy Gummy sheet is poured and its component colours hand-mixed, so no two sheets are identical or uniform, unlike a print. Also unlike printed sheets, hand-poured and hand-drawn latex is fade-resistant and the pattern won’t rub off with wear.
Sheet size is limited by the production method, since each sheet must be poured onto 1 x 2 metre flat surfaces (currently housed in a 30 square metre workspace) and allowed to dry overnight.
More complex patterns, such as zebra stripe, or Rebecca’s famous Sex Pistols slogan/tartan, can take two days to properly set.
Weather, too, will affect production and cause variations in finish time, as both temperature and humidity must be taken into consideration. Typically one or two days must elapse before total certainty that the latex has properly set and is of uniform thickness.
It was as a result of these challenges that Yummy Gummy’s ready-to-wear clothing line came into being. Created and designed while waiting for sheets to cure, the label’s initial collection is deceptively simple.
In fact it is the product of over four months of pattern drafting and alterations, in order that each piece supports and flatters its wearer, regardless of size.
The Skate Dress is currently the Yummy Gummy range’s best seller online. At fairs, usually whatever Rebecca happens to be wearing on her stand will be that day’s top seller, as customers can see the stuff in action and in person.
I asked Rebecca and Sam about Yummy Gummy’s European Fetish Award for Best Idea/Start-Up in Berlin the morning after the Awards ceremony, when we were all just up for breakfast and still sleepy from the excitement of the night before.
After a long day on their stand, they admitted it was both a surprise and a bit of added stress to learn of the impending honour. But finding out while they were still working at the fair brought a touching moment as they were were able to share the joy with Richard and Stewart at the nearby Latex 101 stand.
Winning the prize gives a brand added credibility and may force others to take Yummy Gummy more seriously, Rebecca believes.
The rest of 2015 looks to be just as busy as the first half of the year has been.
Events coming up for Yummy Gummy include exhibiting at Manchester’s first Sexhibition Show in August along with a fashion show there that includes Bianca Beauchamp and Morgana, and a stand at September’s London Edge — the international alternative fashion trade show, where the pair hope to spark more interest from non-fetish fashion retailers.
When I ask who they’d really like to work with in the future, Atsuko Kudo and Lady Gaga topped the list, and if you ask me, it’s just a matter of time before Rebecca wins them both over.
Magic Owen, who provided the portrait of Yummy Gummy’s Rebecca Allsop for our cover and top banner, is an internationally published French photographer based in Oxford, UK.
She specialises in couture/fashion/beauty editorials, look-books and model portfolios.
From an early age Magic had an attraction to the arts, especially photography. She started experimenting with film cameras and spending hours in the darkroom. She says the arrival of the digital age gave her freedom to experience new concepts and let her imagination run free.
Always buzzing with new ideas, this multi-lingual artist is known for her ability to connect with models to capture something unique and make every editorial fresh and different.
She uses an Olympus OM-D and a 12-50 Olympus lens, Leica 1:2.8/45 macro lens and various Lensbaby products, a Linux workstation running Gimp/Darktable, and Bowens lighting.
As well as her specialisms in model portfolio/testing and coaching, (high) fashion/couture and hair/beauty, designer look-book and editorial, she is also a videographer and editor. Her fashion videos have been featured on Fashion TV, Stilo TV and US TV, winning a 2014 teleAward.
Magic Owen’s editorials have been published in:
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