Why We Love Latex!

By: Abby DivDate: July 20, 2020

Abigail Div
Hello, everyone. We're going to be talking today about what to look for and how to shop for latex. I'm your host Abigail Div, Founder of Le Sex Lab, and experimental media lab exploring sexuality. Today's interview will explore the following. How did latex design savage where start? How do you shop for latex apparel? What do you look for in a product? How do you determine your size and your fit? How do you wear latex underwear? And finally, how is savage whereas men were different. And here today to talk with me all about latex and her latex design is creator and founder of savage where Heidi Sparks welcome Heidi.

Heidi Sparks
Hello, thank you.

Abigail Div
Yes and welcome to the podcast. I like to start with chatting a bit about how you started your handcraft latex design and who exactly you are? So getting right into it. Let's start by telling you about Savage Wear. How did you get started with the company?

Heidi Sparks
Well, it started when I moved to Berlin back in 2003. So I had studied design and pattern making in Finland. And when I moved to Berlin I well, because, well, to be honest, I didn't have any job at the moment. And I couldn't really talk German, it was difficult for me. So I thought, okay, I could start making latex. Oh, that's the story.

Abigail Div
So tell me where did you get the idea to make latex clothing from?

Heidi Sparks
The idea was originally really from my ex. He said to me, well, why wouldn't you make latex? I said, do you think I can. He said sure you can. I did a short internship and after that, I just tried because like really much trying, doing by trying and doing again. But afterwards, it all worked out. And also the thing is back then they were not so many colorful latex in the stores or online shop, it was mostly just really black and black, and maybe red a little bit white, but no colors at all. And I thought, okay, there are so many nice colors available. So why don't you use it?

Abigail Div
Yeah, there does seem to be a limitation in terms of the color palette that some of the latex wear comes in, which is fairly basic to start with, you know, as you were saying blacks and reds and whites, but not a lot of variation outside of the basics.

To start with, and I have to admit that I'm not new myself to latex, where as I've known of it for nearly a decade, having gained popularity inside and outside of the latex fetish, BDSM community as it bridges the gap between what is sex and what is fashion. I discovered Savage Wear years ago when I visited Berlin on a trip and immediately stepping into the boutique I knew that there was something different about the way that this latex was made, as your designs range from very classic silhouettes and the basics of black reds and whites to more embellished design said again bridge the gap between what is fashion what is sex. But great let's get then into talking more about latex.

Heidi, when it comes to shopping for latex, there's many options. Can you tell in general what it is that you look for when you're shopping for latex wear?

Heidi Sparks
But of course it depends on where you want to go. If it's your first piece you're shopping for, or if you want to, if you have already something you want to combine it. So usually beginners say not always but often they buy something like something basic, maybe basic dress or maybe patents or miniskirts. But not always. They are sometimes really they are really don't know what's the word, brave, to buy something really extraordinary, even if it's the first piece I'm really always thought that like okay, well way to go. That's great.

Abigail Div
So is there such a thing as a beginners piece or an introductory piece that you would suggest as the the initiation piece into latex?

Heidi Sparks
Well, if they don't know really what they want to have, I said, okay, maybe try miniskirt, black always goes you can always combine it. Also later with some other colors. Try some basic tricks also to speak If the size is good and so if it's something basic, you can always add something more like a belt or maybe a corset or stockings, a nice color, maybe gloves.

Abigail Div
Hmm. So accessories are a good starting point, as opposed to a dress or a skirt or shirt or even like a full on outfit to build, if you will the wardrobe out. That makes a lot of sense and latex is a very pliable material. But it doesn't give in the same ways that other stretch fabrics like spandex and lycra stretch. When you're putting on a piece there's a sort of a given a take to shimming up a skirt up your thighs or putting on a halter top over your shoulders and your chest. How do you know what the good qualities of good latex are?

Heidi Sparks
It should be glued. There are also the molded latex, which is of course cheaper but it doesn't really have the nice form. So glued latex, it's better and you should also pay attention to all to finishing, all the details even if you don't see the first place but if you take a look inside the backings the seam there should be like the backed etches so that it won't rip.

Abigail Div
Ah, okay, so not just on the seam.

Heidi Sparks
Oh, well, the seam it's safe of course if it's glued it should stay like this but like the hemline if it's, let's say, a miniskirt with tension. So if there is no stripped glued inside the hemline, it will rip easily. But look at the things you don't really see it online. Or if you don't know what to look at, you don't see but it really helps the clothing, if it's tacted you can really have it for a long time.

Abigail Div
So both the seams and the hemline and how it is put essentially finished are all important features to understanding if the quality of the latex is going to last you more than a single use.

Heidi Sparks
It should last for years not only or very good once or twice

Abigail Div
So as a follow up to that how do you exactly know what your size is especially with latex that is so pliable?

Heidi Sparks
Well every label might have, of course, it's different sizes, but well, we have an online shop size chart. So you can measure your chest, your underbust, waist, hips, to see if the standard size is okay for you. Or if you needed me to measure

Abigail Div
Is there a default then in terms of the size charts are they the same as other fabric wear say cotton that you use when making measurements? So for instance if I am a size small in normal clothing if you will, you know everyday wear will I be a size small and Savage Wear?

Heidi Sparks
Yes, we are trying to have the mostly standard sizes but still always check because especially when it gets a bit bigger sizes it might be that hips or the breast is maybe not in the standard size. In my opinion, it's more like buy small or medium. Usually it fits well. But still, you should check before you order if the size chart and your measurements fit together

Abigail Div
Can there be such a thing then as too tight?

Heidi Sparks
Yeah, sure it's not one size fits most. So you can go usually like one, size smaller than you are. So then it is really tight. But it shouldn't be two sizes smaller, and it's gonna be really too tight and it might also break easily.

Abigail Div
Okay, so there as much as the latex wear is flexible, there is a giving point where it will tear, rip, or break. If you decide that you want it so tight that you cannot move in it or that it stretches to an expanded capacity that is not made for latex, it's not ever expanding, it does have a breaking point.

Heidi Sparks
Yes, sure. If you if you want to have it really, really tight feeling. Okay. It may be better to have it made of thicker latex. If it's thicker, it can be also tight. But it won't break easily.

Abigail Div
Ah, okay.

Heidi Sparks
And you have the nice side seaming.

Abigail Div
This makes a lot of sense. Well, great. Let's talk then about different ways to wear latex. Imagining a latex outfit you may think of us haut couture emsemble with multiple layers headdress, thigh-high lace up boots, but there are many variations that you can wear latex parred back to just literally the basics. I've shopped for latex undergarments as a lover of lingerie personally, and had the experience of trying on latex thongs, bikini triangle tops, high-waisted panties. Basically everything that comes in lingerie and lace comes in latex and latex. They look both sleek and stylish. But I've never personally thought of wearing them with any other pieces than themselves. So Heidi. how do you how do you wear latex? underwear?

Heidi Sparks
I also just wear it as itself so not, of course, you can wear it like you want but I wouldn't wear it under normal clothing for example because then you just don't see. If you like it and you like it to be seen, or if you like to have a nice evening with your boyfriend, in latex or you go to a party in latex like only wear the latex underwear and nothing else.

Abigail Div
It is a piece in itself. So is there a way to wear it with other latex? Or is that not the intended use?

Heidi Sparks
I think it would be nice. Also, if you have, for example, transparent catsuit or a skirt that you see through, and then you see the latex underwear. So I think that makes sense. But basically, you don't really wear underwear with latex dress or latex legging. It's always better without

Abigail Div
It's better to be seen than to be undergarments.

Heidi Sparks
Yeah.

Abigail Div
Well, is there a way to combine it with other non-latex clothing?

Heidi Sparks
Sure you can vary underwear, like under normal clothing. In this case, I wouldn't use silicone oil on it, I would just use the talcum powder to get it on. And so if you want to wear it secretly, so you can do it, why not?

Abigail Div
So I can wear that pair of skinny jeans and the latex black thong together and I don't have to worry about tearing, ripping, in terms of the contact with other materials or layering with other materials.

Heidi Sparks
No, that's fine. I mean, it depends, of course what kind of other materials like you shouldn't be using latex and PVC together. But if you use latex under cotton, it's all fine.

Abigail Div
Ah, so this is more versatile than I think that people realize in terms of the mixing and matching of the latex fabric with other fabrics that are non-latex materials and that it's going to be fine for use as literally underwear.

Heidi Sparks
Yes, the latex is, well, it's a little bit of a difficult material so you have to really know how to handle it. And if you combine latex and PVC, for example, PVC has got like some soft makers, I don't know, how you call it, softeners maybe how you call it, so it would make the latex soft and we don't want that.

Abigail Div
So there are particular fabrics or rather chemicals that you shouldn't come into contact with as well. That makes a lot of sense and following up with that is there ways to wear latex then everyday either as underwear or otherwise?

Heidi Sparks
Well, you could, I think it depends on also where you live. If you're in New York, or if you're in Berlin, sure, I don't think no one would even look like oh, what she's wearing? But, you can wear a black miniskirt with a normal, sweater that would go.

Abigail Div
Certainly down the streets of Berlin or New York City where both myself and Savage Wear are based is certainly the opportunity to make a statement if you want to on the streets and is fairly common enough sight of and in itself.

Great. Well finally, let's talk about the other sex, about men and menswear. Latex is such a versatile product when it comes to fashion for both men and women. It started in nightlife and fetish scene, a particularly vibrant one where you're based Heidi in Berlin and has expanded into mainstream where people can get pieces where they go out for a lunch date. So for men, just like women, latex goes from fetish to fashionable and then back again. And Savage Wear offers a complete line of men's wear including coats, corsets, trousers boy shorts, there's even a sailor costume in your mix. They're limited though in the range of colors as you had noted earlier. I do not see hot pinks or fuschias in your collection. Berlin has a good representation of adult men stores. How is your menswear though different from what else you see in Berlin?

Heidi Sparks
Well, we are trying to make more straight, nothing against gays, but there are so many stores for gays already. So, yeah, we are trying to make more straight and also like for couples so that girl and the boy they would find something matching.

Abigail Div
That's adorable.

Heidi Sparks
Well the bright colors, of course you can you can always order anything, we will make it for you. But here in the store, well suddenly we have to have it more like black and okay, we try to have some colors, maybe some yellow, some orange, some copper, and red and white, but it's not really the craziest colors in the store

Abigail Div
And in terms of the couples then who buy their sets together, do they generally try to mix and match what they're wearing or do you coordinate so that you can go out for a party or a lunch date if the case may be to wear your latex together?

Heidi Sparks
We have lots of customers, they really wants to have something matching. So if they find in the store something, okay, this is the same green in this shirt and so we would match together, but some customers they really have the whole outfit idea and they want to order everything matches, like so many outfits, everything every detail. I just draw. Okay, is this good for you? What do you think about this and yes, that's great, then we would much together so why not?

Abigail Div
It does seem like people come in then with an agenda in mind in terms of what they're looking for more specifically and since you do a lot of custom work, that you can also customize the designs to the specific needs of the couples, or the individual as well. Do you find there's specific requests that are more common place, then the the one off experience that somebody has a coming into shop that they coming in with continually the same request, it could be that either for menswear couples or women?

Heidi Sparks
I think mostly it's really women. Maybe they come with their man or their husband and buying for her something. But sometimes it's really nice if they find something matching and really happy. They are looking cute, having fun going yeah, it's gonna be so nice party with this outfit. We are going to look so cool. Okay, thank you. It's always been nice to hear.

Abigail Div
Happy customers are always the best customers.

Heidi Sparks
Absolutely

Abigail Div
Oh, well wonderful. And thank you Heidi for joining me today to talk all about latex. If you like what you hear, please join me again next week for another podcast featuring Le Sex Lab.