Kim Kardashian flaunts her curves at the latest Skims swim launch, in a latex get up – which is stirring up the public.

Kim Kardashian sets pulse racing in metallic outfit for swimwear launch | PerthNow
Credit: J Lee/Getty Images for ABA

Earlier this month, Kim Kardashian attended her Miami Pop up Launch for her active-leisurewear company, Skims. The event celebrated the launch of her swimwear line. She rocked an all-latex metallic outfit, consisting of a silver bikini top with matching tights. The outfit screams one thing – Kim Kardashian can pull off anything. Is Kim K the new queen of latex? Let’s take a look.

A Quick History of Latex

Credit: QZ

The history of latex fashion begins 200 years ago in Scotland. This is when chemist Charles Macintosh makes a rubber fabric (latex), used for waterproof coats. During World War 2, an intense need for rubber products becomes apparent. These include latex protective items, such as gas masks and gloves.

Subsequently, these items start to make their way into the kink scene. London Life chronicles this; they receive an influx of letters about latex items in relation to fetishism between 1923-1940.

1950s – 60s

John Sutcliffe | Credit: Dazed

We see latex make its way back into the fashion sphere in the 1950s, due to British designer John Sutcliffe. This is when he creates one of the world’s first catsuits. We can see latex fashion coming into the public eye more frequently in the 1960s. For example, throughout feature film, “The Avengers” – featuring Emma Peel in a latex catsuit and glossy go-go boots.

This paves the way for punk designers such as Viviene Westwood and Malcolm Maclaren to bring latex aesthetics into popular fashion.

1970s – 80s

In 1977 John Samson creates a documentary, “Dressing for Pleasure”, which captures the influence of Westwood and Maclaren.

It even catches up with the Mackintosh society, which brings a wholesome outlook to latex-based clothing. In 1985, Dianne Brill starts to regularly dress in latex outfits.

1990s – 00s

In the 1990s, writer Candace Bushnell tries living in latex outfits whilst investigating a piece for Vogue. She finds that it brings her a new sense of confidence and empowerment, inspiring an episode of “Sex and The City”, a few years later.

Credit: The Mirror

By the mid-2000s, Lady Gaga steps onto the scene. By this time, we start to see more celebrities dressing in latex outfits in public. In 2009, Lady Gaga meets Queen Elizabeth II in full latex. In 2012, Oscar De La Renta includes a red latex top and pencil skirt in his collection – throwing the fashion world through a hoop.

Switching the Narrative

Kim Kardashian West Has a Head Start on the Latex Trend | Vogue Arabia
Credit: Instagram/@maryphillips

The history of latex is integral to bringing the controversial fabric into popular fashion. The narrative is ongoing, from its start in the fetish scene into a powerful expression of confidence and empowerment.

This aesthetic sees designers and celebrities pushing the boundaries, using it as a form of self-expression. Even a way to stand out on the red carpet.

But, we still see mass criticism of latex fashion due to its sexualisation. It also crosses over with the fetish and BDSM scene, which some still view negatively.

Kim Kardashian in Latex

Kim Kardashian first stepped out in latex in 2014. During this time, she is seen in an underwire bra-top midi dress in pink, designed by Atsuko Kudo. She also appears later in a black version of this dress and black latex pants.

Credit: MJ Trends

In 2015, Kardashian attends the CDFA awards in a bodycon pink latex dress. In 2018. she is seen wearing pink vintage latex Versace. Next, she is spotted in black latex pants and an Atsuko Kudo neon green latex dress in Miami.

Credit:Bravo TV

In 2019, Kardashian attends the Met Gala wearing dresses designed by Thierry Mugler, first sporting a nude latex dress for the carpet event and then wearing a blue Cher inspired latex dress for the after-party. Later that year she wore Thierry Mugler again, sporting a red snakeskin latex dress.

In 2020, she attends Paris fashion week in Balmain, wearing a mustard latex suit. Later, she wears the same suit in burgundy and in pink.

Credit: Harper’s Bazaar

So far in 2022, Kim Kardashian has been seen in three different latex outfits. During Milan fashion week she was seen in a latex shirt and pants outfit, then in a black turtleneck latex dress. Next, she appears on the Ellen DeGeneres show in an all-black latex jumpsuit. Most recently, she shows up in Miami for her Skim’s Swim launch wearing a silver bikini top with leggings.

Kim Kardashian Hosts SKIMS Swim Dinner in Miami with Hot Famous Friends
Credit: Getty Images

Since premiering her Skims look, the outfit is receiving mixed reviews. ‘Saucy’, ‘cheap’, ‘trashy’, ‘futuristic’, ‘wild’ and ‘Reminiscent of Kim K’s pre-Balenciaga days’ are amongst its descriptions.

Ultimately, the attention should be on the new line she is launching for her business and call into question the quality of the fashion items considering the backlash from her sister Kylie Jenner’s swimwear line, “Kylie Swim”which was known to have sizing issues and using cheap materials which did not reflect the high price tag. Could Kim Kardashian’s swimwear line face a similar fate?

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