I recently had the opportunity to collaborate with a team of creatives at Lush Light Creative Agency to shoot a fashion editorial featuring latex clothing supplied by Chez Noir, a latex and fetish boutique located in Toronto, ON, Canada.
What I loved about the concept for this shoot was the exploration of the female characters as sensual and empowered. It has always been a common theme in art to focus on the female form through nude portraits. One of the most scandalous developments among these nude portraits was a change in the gaze of the female, as the traditionally accepted norm for nudes featured a female looking away, averting her eyes from the viewer's gaze in submission. It's easy to imagine how scandalous some of the most famous paintings in western art history were to feature a female nude making eye contact with the viewer. That was considered erotic and not in the de rigeur of modesty, passivity, and conservative themes expected as the "standard" of this art form by institutions such as the Salon in 19th century Paris. Examples of this rebellious female gaze can be seen below (fellow art history enthusiasts will hopefully appreciate the connection between these two paintings).
Back to this shoot. The sex appeal of latex is obvious and certainly the addition of the models at this shoot made it impossible to not feature their sensuality in this second skin clothing. Our challenge was to create powerful images that are glamorous and directly acknowledge the viewer but also have a touch of vulnerability and depth. Much of this empowerment came from the models themselves who emanate confidence with their physical forms and their own sexuality.
Working with latex requires some care and respect for the garment above and beyond the typical care most clothing items need. Our photographer, Karlie, managed the care of the latex using talc to keep the latex items from sticking to itself or the model's skin and shiner (silicone oil) to bring a glossy finish to the garments. From biker gloves to sleek swimwear, I think this shoot proves that latex looks best in black.
From matte latex...
...To shiny latex.
Final images from this set will be coming soon. Thanks again to our team for making this such a fun project.