The metamorphosis from humanoid to insectoid may for some, exist only in a Kafkaesque nightmare of the absurd. Tres Bonjour challenge such insectophobic prejudices with their dreamscape collection “Sensation du Corps” : six latex couture outfits designed exclusively for the 30 ROCKS anniversary issue 2012 of TUSH Magazine. The theme : insects.
Since 2009 the Berlin fashion designers Viola Jaeger and Sandra Dresp have worked exclusively with latex. On a recent trip to Berlin I had the pleasure of meeting Viola and seeing, touching, smelling and even trying on some pieces from this unique collection.
What struck me when I entered the bijoux but perfectly appointed Tres Bonjour boutique was the molten shiny magic of latex on the racks displaying to their fullest potential designs from their current collections. This might sound like a given in a latex shop but so many I’ve visited seem to favour one of the following less than satisfactory templates: first is the ‘dark dingy basement situ where you may need night vision goggles to actually see anything’; then there’s the ‘let’s talc everything like we’ve got shares in Imperial Leather and stuff you if you’ve got a respiratory complaint’; next is the ‘pile the racks so tight with all the XXXS and XXXL sizes which have been languishing in the gloom for the last 15 years’; last but very much least is the ‘let’s have an empty void bar a dozen or so items which happen to be the XXXS and XXXL sizes as we only “make to order” (why bother to have a shop then…?)’
Chatting to Viola about these issues in the gleamtastically glossy store she emphasized that she wished Tres Bonjour to be the antithesis of these other dusty, dated latex establishments. I think she may have achieved that particular goal…
On this visit I fell in rubber romance with a prototype latex hood which I was compelled to possess, or was it compelled to possess me in this Kafkaesque abstract aesthetic…? Tres Bonjour may not have produced hoods previous to this insectoid example, a key piece in the “Sensation du Corps” collection, but it marks a territory much removed from the well trodden path of the common-or-garden latex hood maker. Aside from its ubiquitous shiny black latex, the inserts of trans pink to generate an insect/alien/android look, delicate strips of rhinestones and Predator inspired proboscis mouth all served to blow my mind and the minds of those I would encounter out and about on my latex voyages.
In the “Sensation du Corps” collection Viola and Sandra have successfully captured the beauty and fragility of butterflies and moths with delicately transparent latex in muted colours, contrasting with the deep black glossy latex. Suggestions of cocoons, gossamer wings and exoskeletons have been created with nebula-like effects using liquid latex and boning to create structure and architectural shaping.
So reigns the mystical world of metamorphosis. Long live the new latex flesh.
video of the photoshooting: