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“It sounds snobbish, but it was always about alienating people,” says Dave Edmond, the self-proclaimed second designer of goth latex fashion. “It was like a secret society.”
Edmond’s telling CREEM about the London punk and goth scenes in the '70s and early '80s, because he is the authority. Like his peers, Edmond thrived on any opportunity to break conventions—and dramatic outfits worn on the London streets worked every single time.
Once designer Vivienne Westwood and Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren began appropriating the bondage wear of the fetish community—with its textures of latex, leather, and the like—for their shop SEX, counterculture fashion began taking cues from taboo articles of gear, ones that had previously been worn within the confines of dungeons and boudoirs.
But everyone knows that history, anyway. (We all watched that biopic series about the Sex Pistols—you know, the one where everyone was obviously way too hot to actually be punk.) But what about goth, punk’s cousin who lurked in the candlelit shadows? Well, Edmond can tell that story. He worked for the infamous BOY London fashion brand and owned Pure Sex, a shop and clothing label. “We mixed together remnants of punk with gothic stuff, latex and PVC stuff as well,” explains Edmond of Pure Sex. “Also with fetish stuff like shoes, boots, gloves, hats, sunglasses. It's very much a kind of latex goth dominatrix look that we went for.”