The combination of fetishism and fashion has not been new. To celebrate its comeback, it played a major part at the Met Gala and the VMAs. Kim Kardashian’s entrance, dressed from head to toe in a black cotton Balenciaga “T-shirt,” is evidence of the return.
Madonna, who was clothed entirely in leather and exuded an S&M maid vibe, closely trailed this style. One of the rare celebrities that hasn’t abandoned their style is the singer. She is the author of the book Sex, which scandalized puritan America in the 1990s, the goddess of provocation, the aficionada of the whip, the hot clip artist of couples tying themselves to bed bars, the ace of the harness, and more. Not to be forgotten is her final work, Madame X. It is thus reasonable to question why this remarkable resurgence occurred.
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One may argue that the epidemic and mask-wearing requirements have increased tensions and the need to indulge in new fantasies. a hypothesis that is evident in the fashion industry, of course. Houses and designers have been experimenting and pushing the boundaries of the BDSM aesthetic for a number of seasons. In order to generate appearances that may be as lyrical as they are libidid-fueled, they experiment with gender and sexuality. We can’t help but think of Ludovic de Saint Sernin, who has managed to start a true sensation every season with his iconic eyelet briefs. Additionally, Jeremy Scott’s Moschino underwent an unexpected 360-degree turn at the men’s Fall-Winter 2018–2019 Fashion Week. He gave up on his retro fluorescent outfits in favor of a Dominatrix ensemble that included biker hats, latex shorts, harnesses, leather masks and gloves, and zippered leather hoods. All of this was displayed in a Milan warehouse as loud techno music played in the background.
Sexual fetishism: what is it?
Let us begin at the outset. “Sexual fetishism” is defined as “a sexual excitement in response to an object or body part that’s not typically sexual, such as shoes or feet,” according to the official definition. You might argue that whatever occurs in the bedroom remains there. Nonetheless, fashion seems to defy conventions, taboos, and limits of normalcy with each passing season.
Some say that fetish fashion first emerged in the UK’s homosexual community during World War II, while others speculate that corsets and skirts from the 1700s were an early example of the trend.
But the fetish, which Vivienne Westwood made her signature, wasn’t democratized in fashion until the 1970s and her entrance. The British designer met Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren, a punk icon, when he was 24 years old. Together, they opened a shop at 430 Kings Road in London that was later renamed SEX and served as a platform for Vivienne Westwood to produce clothing inspired by McLaren. The clothing was a declaration of a new fashion era, influenced by bikers, fetishists, and prostitutes.
Fashion and sex on social media
Without including social media, it is hard to talk about the function of fetishism…? Why are social media platforms so essential to the fusion of fashion and sex culture? Simply put, Instagram is the best platform for gaining visibility and “selling” oneself, especially if you have a large following of followers. But sometimes, the boundaries are difficult to draw. “On social media, there is a hyper transparency, a hyper visibility at the level of sexuality, especially of young people,” French sex therapist Sylvie Tasso tells Vogue. She is located in Barcelona. “Our society changed from being really oppressive to being overly sexualized. We feel that we are incredibly free and liberated when we share everything about ourselves. In the end, I think the reverse is true.