Nothing excites the fashion industry more than disrupting the codes, changing perceptions, and re-establishing their reputation. A modus operandi that has become popular as the buzz technique is used as a proper communication tool. Recently, Demna and Balenciaga have made Crocs iconic (Spring-Summer 2018), Miu Miu has rehabilitated the low-cut miniskirt (Spring-Summer 2022), while Daniel Lee has restored the vulgar rubber boot to its former glory for Bottega Veneta (Fall-Winter 2020-2021). In addition to those pieces, whose renewed popularity questions the very notion of good taste, the two materials that used to be only displayed in the windows of sex shops or vintage stalls are now propelled to the forefront.
February 2020 and the Fall/Winter 2020-2021 Fashion Week marked the redemption of latex and vinyl. On Saint Laurent’s, Balmain’s and Balenciaga’s catwalks, latex left its fetishistic aura and became elegant and radical. Since then, the popularity of these materials is on the rise. Now considered as vegan alternatives to leather – which Stella McCartney can boast of being a pioneer – latex and vinyl are unfolding their former unexplored potential through easygoing, glamorous, and above all, unexpected creations. Here is a dive into 11 women’s and men’s looks spotted on the catwalks of the last Fall-Winter 2022-2023 shows.
1. Versace’s red vinyl maxi down jacket
As the artistic director of the flamboyant house of Versace for over 25 years, Donatella Versace has proven that she masters like no other the subtle art of maximalist glamour infused with bling and glitter. Her Fall-Winter 2022-2023 show, a successful stylistic exercise around the theme of the bustier, demonstrates the extent of her talent. The exception to the rule in this collection is this femme fatale 2.0 down jacket in bright red vinyl. It would seduce anyone who dislikes the feather-filled coat.
2. Coperni’s pink vinyl bow dress
A few months before Bella’s sensational appearance at the Coperni Spring-Summer 2023 show, the label founded by Arnaud Vaillant and Sébastien Meyer drew the public’s attention with a Fall-Winter 2022-2023 collection that exuded a sultry, Euphoria-like energy. In this emancipated schoolgirl-style wardrobe, this delicate powder pink dress gives the latex a romantic touch.
3. Courrèges’ burgundy openwork vinyl dress
Since his arrival at Courrèges in September 2020, Nicolas di Felice has perfectly fused the 1960s heritage with an ultra-contemporary and techno-futurist spirit. For his Fall-Winter 2022- 2023 show, a wardrobe dedicated to the lovers of wild techno parties, the designer multiplied the vinyl looks – the house’s flagship material since its launch in 1961. Among them is this burgundy openwork vinyl dress made of geometric inserts and paired with a white cap for a complete falsely good girl look.
4. Gucci’s silver faux trench
For the Gucci Fall-Winter 2022-2023 collection, the artistic director of the Italian house Alessandro Michel has temporarily dropped his baroque aesthetic for a wardrobe that explores tailoring and sportswear. That encounter has taken the shape of a collaboration with Adidas. The blue shirt and beige trousers duo, part of the contemporary man’s uniform, loses its conformism when combined with a revamped trench coat in silver vinyl.
5. Avellano’s pink double breasted latex coat
If fashion is all about timing, Arthur Avellano knew how to choose the right moment to launch the label that bears his name in 2020. Just like his Fall-Winter 2022-2023 show, his collections invite latex in every form, especially where you wouldn’t expect it. Far from the dominatrix aesthetic, this classic and elegant breasted coat dares to use a girly pink color for a Barbie 2.0 effect.
6. GCDS’ pink vamp vinyl dress
Fun, sexy, and eccentric, Giuliano Calza’s label GCDS launched in 2015 is a perfect blend between Versace’s outrageous glamour and Moschino’s offbeat luxury resulting in flashy streetwear collections, which are widely appealing to pop stars and influencers. For the Fall-Winter 2022-2023 collection inspired by Count Dracula, this dramatic mermaid dress in pale pink vinyl invites one of the famous vampire’s wives into a kitschy virtual world.
7. Alaïa’s black vinyl blazer
Pieter Mulier is the worthy successor of Azzedine Alaïa, who died in 2017, and revives the legacy of the late designer with sculptural creations and a touch of radical minimalism. Here, a very sober wool hooded dress and skater skirt is electrified by a black tailored vinyl blazer with a 1980s vibe. A contemporary look that is both sober and sexy.
8. Avellano’s latex total look for men
In addition to women’s latex silhouettes, the label Avellano invites the subversive material into the men’s wardrobe. Here, latex completely loses its lewd connotation with this chic emerald green streetwear total look including baggy trousers, a tank top, and a straight coat.
9. Etro’s red vinyl trousers
Sometimes it doesn’t take much to make an old-fashioned piece more stylish. Etro proves it with an undeniably cool red silhouette. Paired with vinyl jogging trousers, the quite risky Christmas wool jumper, which is enhanced with the Italian house’s signature paisley pattern, deserves a place in our winter wardrobe.
10. GCDS’ green vinyl maxi coat
Apparently, Giuliano Calza’s extravagance is only limited by his imagination. He masters the art of kitsch and handles the most extreme stylistic proposals, just like this sexy alien look coming straight out of Tim Burton’s Mars Attacks! (2006). With an openwork jumpsuit combined with an imposing vinyl opera coat and matching thigh-high boots, the pop green color reveals all its teasing potential.
11. Rokh’s electric blue vinyl trench coat
Revealed in 2018 by the LVMH Prize, South Korean-born American designer Rok Hwang and his label Rokh are giving a new lease of life to the women’s wardrobe with sophisticated collections and hybrid creations that evoke the radical vision of Chitose Abe for Sacai. One of his favorite pieces is the trench coat, which appears this winter in a slim-fitting, floor-sweeping, electric blue vinyl version. More sci-fi than Parisian chic.