Current Modes of Retail Moda

Gigi xAt a time when all business, not just fashion, is undergoing constant reinvention, from the advent of digital selling to new modes of social media advertising, what counts as ‘retail’ in the fashion space is pretty much up for anyone’s definition. Sometimes this is in conjunction with digital, sometimes pure brick-and-mortar ingenuity, sometimes amidst run away branding fashion retail is growing by leaps and bounds in ways that continue to surprise even industry insiders.

London’s luxury store Browns (presently fueled by digital, “e-tailer” Farfetch) just added an actual out-in-the-real world store in East London. This will be Brown’s first new physical location in two decades. With their Farfetch partnership, Brown’s simply hopes to seamlessly integrate the digital retail experience with their retail space model. Browns opened their first store in 1970.

Haut couture designers have certainly snuck their wares into hotels through these past few years. Now designers seem to be getting into the hotel business like never before. Designers like Diane von Furstenberg has created rooms at Claridge’s,Tommy Hilfiger is planning a members-only hotel and the Parachute brand’s The Parachute Hotel has been a reality since last year.

And not that we ever felt she would disappoint us, supermodel Gigi Hadid just announced her Gigi x Maybelline East Coast Glam Collection on Instagram. Exploiting the intersection of the digital and the real as she always has done, this make-up collection is selling currently online and will later in stores.

With FTI Consulting Inc. predicting U.S. online retail purchases to surpass 1 trillion dollars in ten years, who knows where we all will be very soon when it comes how we buy, what we buy and most importantly, where we buy. For now though, it seems in the business of moda, brands and designers are moti-vating in as many ways as they can.

Harvey Weinstein Abuses…Fashion?

Georgina ChapmanNot that anyone would think the Harvey Weinstein controversy would take a fashion twist. But this week, as the tsunami of allegations came out against the movie mogul (and Weinstein entered a rehab for his ‘addiction’) actress Felicity Huffman confirmed some of her own trouble with Weinstein. Huffman is not claiming any inappropriate physical advances on Weinstein’s part though. Instead the ex-Desperate Housewives star is claiming Weinstein threatened to ruin her career if Huffman “didn’t support” Weinstein’s wife, Georgina Chapman’s fashion brand Marchesa. (Chapman is pictured here.)

In 2005 Huffman’s Transamerica movie was released. That same year the actress wore a Marchesa dress on the red carpet while attending the Eva Longoria Foundation Gala in Los Angeles. Huffman claims she was forced to wear that dress for Weinstein’s wife’s brand at the gala because she knew if she didn’t, Weinstein would have pulled his support for Transamerica.

Actress Sienna Miller also makes a similar claim of moda-influenced blackmail. Although other gowns were presented her for the Golden Globes during a particular year, Miller knew if she did not wear something from Marchesa, Weinstein would be “upset.” Miller was going to be sitting next to Weinstein and his wife at the awards ceremony and feared retribution from a man as powerful as Weinstein if he did not see her in his wife’s duds.

As we have all read by now, The New York Times and The New Yorker both exposed detailed accounts of Harvey Weinstein harassing and assaulting various actresses through the years. But these non-sexual accounts, of Weinstein wielding his influence through the Marchesa label, has fashionistas and fans wondering not only what will happen to Weinstein in the future but what will become of the fashion label he backed and seemed to use as leverage.

Weinstein’s wife and Keren Craig founded Marchesa at the very beginning of the century.


Avantgardista Is Busting At Its Seams

avantgardistaAs we are advertising on the site already (just look to your right) Avantgardista is going to prove quite the event come November 11th. Now it is being reported that this Munich lifestyle event has added even more designers, accessory makers, and visual artists to truly make this a one of a kind happening.

The times of the shows have changed as well, with things kicking off at 7pm not 9, as initially reported in Avantgardista press. The event will take up two blocks, now needed to support all the designers, as well as all the attendees anticipated.

The very latest designer to be added here, making the full count now 17 in all showing at Avantgardista, is chainmail maker from Bad Homburg, Arcane Accessories. Goldsmiths Goldpiercingart has also been added to the makers of smaller pieces to be shown in the Avantgardista gallery. Artists Carnivore Pictures, and Frederik Eckenheim were just added as well.

FrÃulein Katzentanz and Ian Dutton will be on hand on hand to host and welcome. And the actual fashion shows will begin even earlier on the 11th. Staring at 2pm at the Avantgardista Showroom, 80 models are going to strut various top alternate fashions right up until midnight.

German health coach Susanne Wendel, will also be on hand for two hours 5pm to 7, giving away 100 signed copies of her book, Gesundgevogelt in 12 Wochen,

And we are not even mentioning the night’s SubRosaDictum’s Space Intruders party!

Fetish fashionistas will surely be able to walk away from Avantgardista completely outfitted. A city like Munich is certainly welcoming to play wardrobe so one can hit this event, then hit a club afterward in what they come to buy, then be back Sunday for the brunch that ends the event.

Now, really, do you have any reason not to be at ? Get your tickets now if you have yet to grab them.

Speaking With Latex Artist Michelle Mildenhall

Latex Artist Michelle MildenhallObviously hard-working, though self-described as a “bit of a joker,” artist Michelle Mildenhall views her world, and gives of her unique expression, through latex. It was from Michelle’s personal wardrobe choices, where she had been wearing latex as we all do loving the material so much, that her flash of inspiration came. As she says: “Having a passion for latex I thought to myself why not combine the two to create something truly unique in both the art and fetish world.” Her influences include John Willie, Ellen Von Unwerth and indeed Andy Warhol as well as Torture Garden.

Currently Michelle’s CONSENSUAL KINK show is running in the UK.

Interestingly enough latex’s limitations have led Michelle to be ever-so-creative when creating her art. The size of the actual pieces she works with forces Michelle towards generally larger portraits and cutting what she calls the “temperamental material” creates a unique challenge when one is creating each piece by hand, as Michelle does. Still Michelle creates ever more unique shows for audience all over the world, audiences she claims are very friendly and encouraging no matter what city she is showing in.

Generally though, Michelle seems to have the same feeling for latex as we all do whether she is creating artwork of wearing it. “I think my first encounter with latex had a profound effect on me. I love the way it makes me look and feel, I still get that tingle of excitement when I open my wardrobe full of latex and when I create my work in the medium!” she says.

After CONSENSUAL KINK Michelle will work on a show at The Affordable Art Fair in Hamburg in November, and in Jan/Feb 2018 she will be exhibiting at The Old Truman Brewery in London at the charity event FACE VALUE 2, a show in aid of the Katie Piper Foundation. She is also planning a new show with fellow artist Shuby. Se promises this show will be a “fabulous mix of naughty provocative art.”

Michelle Mildenhall Consensual Kink

Catch all of what Michelle Mildenhall is about here: page and here


Halloween in the Capital presented by DC Fetish Ball

capitolFor all of us lovers of latex wear, cosplay participants or simply alt. wardrobe wearers, the Halloween Season can be an especially fun time of year. Round about the D.C. area ghouls and ghosties seem to be on the prowl more than ever for the 2017 Pumpkin and Candy Season (and these ghouls and ghosties have nothing to do with those haunting the Federal hallways from both sides of the isle!) Look below for a round-up of what’s about to happen of interest to lifestylers and merry fright-night makers, presented by our good friends at DC Festish Ball:

Black Magic’s (Facebook) particular brand of darkness returns w/ BADASS Raves to the DC Eagle on 10/13. There is a EDM night in Fairfax on the 18th at Transit, while Ministry play The Filmore the very next night.

The aforementioned cosplayers can enjoy Super Megafest, New England’s Comic & Pop Culture Fanfest from the 19th-22nd. (see here SuperMegafest). And smack dab in the middle of those dates, on the 20th, is the TOWN Drag Show.

On the 21st the region’s “most lavish events for the Lifestyle Community” Sinn-Ergy Present’s A Wickedly Sexy Affair.

And running right up to All-Hallow’s Eve:

Dark & Stormy (Facebook), one of DC’s last great nights for Goth-Industrial and The Capitol Hell Ball (Facebook), presented by BOUND DC at Stanton & Greene, both happen on the 27th. While, The Eighties Mayhem Halloween Ball @The Black Cat, Halloween Ball @Raw Ink Live in Gaithersburg and  theTPA Beautiful Nightmare lifestyle play party happens in N.E. MD.

And the granddaddy of them all DC Fetish Ball: kicking off the fall season with their 10th Anniversary celebration, goes down on Sunday October 28th Facebook Group: Fetlife Group: Newsletter via Blogspot: Also on Twitter:

Metro Calendars feature deeper and more varied coverage, so check there often *see here scene: .

Hugh Hefner Is Not Dead…In Our Hearts

Hugh_Hefner_Don_Adams_Playboy_After_Dark_1970Surely, given the latex world we live in, sexy shots of models in naughty haute couture or close to nothing at all peaks our interest. But we’d argue that what Hugh Hefner (who died this week at the age of 91) presented with his work was more than just naughty pics. His lifestyle, ‘branding,’ before that word got coopted by Housewives reality stars, presented a singular vision. And the man himself was a historical cultural figure, possibly as famous as his Playboy magazine, the T.V. shows, and the clubs he created.

A cartoonist in his earliest publishing incarnations, Hef borrowed money in the early 50’s, after working for “Esquire,” to begin “Playboy” in 1953. An infamous bunch of Marilyn Monroe nudes, quite tame by comparison to what we see today across any celeb’s daily Instagram offerings, were featured in the magazine’s first issue. From there, there was no stopping Hef’s vision.

But along the way, fighting for his philosophy of sexual freedoms, Hugh Hefner was arrested on obscenity charges (later thrown out of court), established his Playboy Foundation from the arrest and fought against censorship and to fund sexual awareness and research. The magazine published notables of the day. Fiction writers like Ray Bradbury and Ian Flemming. Interviewing Malcom X, and Ayn Rand. Showcasing cartoonists and artists like LeRoy Neiman. Playboy Magazine exposed and expounded on a lifestyle of the better things in life.

Of course Mr. Hefner would be labeled a misogynist (and worse) many times over by theologians and feminists who opposed his work. But it can too easily be forgotten that this was a man who was a staunch a vocal supporter of the ‘The Pill’ when it was first introduced. He received the first-ever Founder’s Hero of the Heart Award from the ‘Children of the Night’ organization (they work to take kids from prostitution). He championed performers of any sex or color to work in his Playboy Clubs. And in 1982 Hef handed over his operation to his daughter Christie, a woman.

We as much celebrate the magazine magnate as the man who was Hugh Hefner.

Dawnamatrix WOW’s New Zealand’s World of WearableArt

Red WOWOnce again we come to celebrate one of the Von Gutenberg family. Dawnamatrix Designs, out of Seattle, Washington, who we have worked with pretty much from the start, just won two awards at the World of WearableArt event, held in New Zealand last week.

Dawn Mostow, the head designer and CEO of Dawnamatrix came in contact with the WOW event at Seattle’s The Museum of Pop Culture, (MoPOP). She submitted designs to be considered then was picked out of 100 other designers in her category to submit further for WOW. Accepted for the show, she sent her Labyrinth Gown and what she calls her “The Messenger” latex outfit to Wellington for this past week’s show. It wasn’t until the dress rehearsal during the week that Dawn even saw how her pieces would be presented. The WOW show is a night where “theatre, fashion and art collide” and not only did the show go off with a resounding success of light, sound and alt. haute couture, Dawn’s Labyrinth Gown took home the Technology Award and she also placed 3rd in the Red Category with The Messenger.

Although they won such prestigious placings and Dawn’s designs will now be seen by a worldwide audience as the WOW show tours, mostly it was the feeling of global unity Dawn enjoyed. She was even invited to the U.S. Embassy in New Zealand to speak with the Wellington Girls College 10th year. There she and the young women shared stories of their backgrounds and inspiration.

Dawn and her husband also had time to take in one of Wellington’s biggest attractions, for movie fans and fantasy lovers alike…the set for Peter Jackson’s “The Lord Of The Rings” trilogy. The Hobbit houses still stand and Dawn and hubby got to frolic like hobbits for the day.

Congratulations to Dawn Mostow and all at Dawnamatrix Designs for their win and for sharing in a little global moda love.

wow sign


The Haute Couture of the 69th Primetime Emmy Award Broadcast

2017-primetime-emmy-awards-showA year away from its 70th anniversary, the 69th Primetime Emmy Award Broadcast brought the faithful-and a larger T.V. viewership than last year-to wide acclaim last Sunday night. Host Stephen Colbert helmed while we all got to celebrate U.S. television and the people who make it.

And of course, there was the haute couture.

The nude/naked dress and sky-high slits didn’t seem to rate so high on celebrity wardrobe choices this night. Ariel Winter of “Modern Family” sported probably the most daring choice of the night. Her black-and-silver Zuhair Murad gown featured a double slit. But beyond this young star’s choice, what we mostly saw were gowns of a rather sedate nature. Yes, some were slightly odd and certainly colorful, but it was basically high class moda at the Emmy’s.

Gillian Anderson (sporting blonde locks now, not her signature red) wore a velvet gown. Its most interesting feature was black lace at the dress’s back. Matched with a rainbow clutch, this ensemble was stunning.

Lots of people made mention of Jane Fonda’s appearance in bright magenta (other ‘mature ladies,’ Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon wore simple black gowns). But startling color choices were also made by “The Handmaid’s Tale” star Elisabeth Moss in light pink Prabal Gurung. Nicole Kidman went with a red Calvin Klein, and her costar in “Big Little Lies,” Reese Witherspoon sported a shiny blue Stella McCartney tuxedo dress. Viola Davis’ sleeveless orange Zac Posen gown made another bright color statement, but the winner of the night seemed to be Donald Glover’s purple suit.

Beyond color, there seemed to be an abundance of…well…feathers.

Zoe Kravitz was in rainbows and feathers in her Dior. Keri Russell sported them-subtly though-in her sheer black J. Mendel. Tracee Ellis sported a white feathered bottom to her Chanel gown. And Priyanka Chopra wore a gown with a tight beaded fitted front trailing a white fury train.

And wearing no color, no fur and no beads, but still and interesting choice, Mandy Moore’s black and white tired dress (white being only in the middle of the three pieces) Carolina Herra was also a standout.

Part 2 Of Our Interview With Richard Pérez Seves

Guyette bookIn Part 1 of our interview with author of Charles Guyette: Godfather of American Fetish Art, we learn about the current cultural fascination with wild haute couture. And how this book couldn’t have come at a better time.

The mainstreaming of lifestyle couture, fetish fashion, alternate wardrobes seems to have made even the conservative fashionista aware of what we all knew for so long. Is this good or bad for all of us into these styles?  

What can you say? It wouldn’t be so bad if mainstream culture acknowledged these underground pioneers, Charles Guyette, Irving Klaw, John Willie, Eric Stanton, but the mainstream won’t, because stigma remains. Even as LGBT culture gains traction and acceptance in mainstream America, lots of underground interests remains in-the- closet, shamed and ignored.

Unfortunately, many slick, alternative couture (fetish fashion) websites today have done nothing to remedy this. They should know that it can’t always be about surface and slickness. By not acknowledging the past and its own pioneering history, our forefathers, they continue to perpetuate a throwaway trendy shallowness. History lends meaning to a culture, and a culture that does not embrace and record its history is destined to be forgotten. What we have today is this fragmentation of a culture that still has no real identity or pride or sense of purpose.

What else are you working on? You have a second book of this genre coming soon, right?

Right now, I’m looking forward to the publication of Eric Stanton & The History of The Bizarre Underground. I would like to continue to research and produce more serious historical work on vintage fetish art, but this takes a lot of time and money, and I can’t work in a void.

People can reach out to Seves here: And buy his new book here:


AVANTGARDISTA presents Space Intruders

AVANTGARDISTAAVANTGARDISTA is the self-proclaimed producer of fetish good and fashionistas. On November 11th they present the Sub Rosa Dictum Alternative Lifestyle event, “Space Intruders.” This is will prove to be the official stellar solar-system hang aftershow party that cannot be missed.

The makers and shakers of this party are prompting the potential partier to put on their boots, smooth down their catsuit, wind a clear waist belt around themselves and snap on their space baster. Attendees are invited to come down from their spaceships and step into unknown of glittering starlight, where they should “dance, play, feel, touching and becoming one.”

As one should expect in a lifestyle event of such a high order, a strict fetish dress code will be enforced. Visitors to this particular galaxy need be prepared, right? Straight from the producer’s website it is suggested: Be breathtaking. Sexy. Fetish. Evening Dress (Smoking or ball gown). You as an eye-catcher. Latex, Patent, Leather. Shiny, Lace, High Heels, Corsets. Show skin, Uniforms, Masks, Burlesque, Goth, Drag, Cosplay. No business suits, no T-Shirts, no sneakers. No simple nudity, bare chests. No unimaginative.

As the Sub Rosa Dictum team says they are looking forward to seeing you. So give them something to see!

As is all important at these kind of gatherings, there will be music. Nachtwerk DJ Crew ( and DJ Nico (Utopia) will be spinning for the faithful. Their tracks are sure to keep your blood pumping, the sweat pouring and you heart racing to all kinds of possibilities with all kinds of people.

The doors open for this event, being held at Kesselhaus @ Lilienthalallee 35. 80939 Munchen at 10Pm. This former industrial complex, with its “partly protected farms” is ideal for this kind of sprawling party that needs to avail itself of much privacy.

Go here for more information: