|Gossip|Berlin|Tales from Berlin|
FETISH A GAGA: MC Rachael V (centre) belts out Born This Way for the GFB finale at Spindler & Klatt, with onstage back-up from (L-R) Miss Mirjana, Stéphane Roy, Kay Morgan, Honeyhair and Lara Aimée
Berlin talk: Fantastic secrets and some shedding of Skin
Wednesday, 29 May 2013
After returning to its spiritual home in Berlin last year, the German Fetish Ball Weekend looks to have plenty to be pleased about following this year’s tenth anniversary celebrations — writes Tony Mitchell.
Despite the venues for the GFB and the two-day German Fetish Fair being smaller than in previous years, both new venues — in adjoining locations by the River Spree — got a positive reception from a crowd that seemed to include a bigger-than-ever international contingent this year.
Spindler & Klatt, the new Ball venue, sits right on the water’s edge and offers a canopied quayside patio and a ‘floating terrace’ on the Spree itself, both with great views across the river. Many visitors I talked to thought it much better than Matrix, the Ball’s old venue — which should please organiser René of Xklusiv.
The show, though shorter than planned due to last-minute drop-outs, was pretty impressive if you could find a good place to watch from. I was especially pleased that singer/MC Rachael V decided to ‘do her Gaga’: her finale rendition of Born This Way with all the models dancing on the catwalk was a real showstopper!
Reclaiming the Saturday night slot at KitKatClub for his traditional Fetish Guerilla party, Martin Pelzer also seemed well pleased with his turnout, which numbered 1,300 — the most people he’s ever had at the club.
The German Fetish Fair — housed in what was once an army bakery, on the street side of Spindler & Klatt — was a pretty compact event this year. But most visitors I spoke to felt that the quality of the vendors and the choice of stuff to buy at the show more than compensated. Exhibitors seemed to be doing a roaring trade on the first day, with those with the biggest displays, like Inner Sanctum, packed with shoppers.
But you didn’t even have to be selling stock off the rails to be inundated with visitors, as German catsuit specialist Fantastic Rubber proved once again. This firm, which does made-to-measure only, was so busy that I never managed to get the shot I wanted of a staff member in the label’s camouflage catsuit, which, with its multicoloured patchwork of latex, has bemused some designers with its apparent complexity.
However, when I bumped into FR owner Peter Pick near the coffee stand, he was happy to let me in on a little secret that was clearly amusing him. “They think that suit must be really expensive to make because of all the different colours we use in it,” he said. “What they don’t realise is that we’re making it from the off-cuts left over from other garments, so in effect the latex in the suit costs nothing!”
Assembling your off-cuts into sheets that can be used to make more garments is a brilliantly simple idea for minimising waste and maximising resources — and a typically shrewd engineering solution from Mr Pick. He also revealed that the Fantastic Rubber catsuit recall reported by us in April (see link below) had been, in his own words, “a wonderful piece of marketing” for the firm. He then let me in on another little secret. “It was so successful,” he said, “that we will soon offer a new exchange deal that’s even better.”
Under the current recall, people who bought an FR catsuit made up to mid-2009 can, until June 30, swap it for a brand new suit made to their current measurements, in the colours of their choice, for just €100. Under the next deal, Fantastic Rubber will offer an exchange on catsuits made by any other manufacturer. And the charge for trading-in your old suit for a new Fantastic Rubber garment will be just €180 — a fraction of what a new FR catsuit would normally cost. Needless to say, we’ll let you know when that offer goes live!
In other news, an industry reshuffle I’d known about unofficially for a while ‘went live’ over the Berlin weekend, when two London attendees — Mistress Absolute (Club Subversion/Domme Trips) and Fetishistas contributor Dave ‘Darcy’ Edmond — both revealed themselves to be representing the new Skin Two Online website following its change of ownership. Darcy was handing out business cards that proclaimed him to be Skin Two’s Online Editor while Absolute tweeted enthusiastically from various events on behalf of the site.
New owner of Skin Two Online — and the right to use the Skin Two logo on whatever it wants — is Honour, which has been running the Skin Two Clothing business for some years. Joe at Honour tells me he has big plans for the Skin Two brand beyond fetish; it will be interesting to see if he can succeed where others have failed. The sale leaves Skin Two founder Tim Woodward with just the print mag side of the business.
Another hot Berlin topic was rival publisher Peter Czernich’s decision to put Marquis and its various offshoots including Heavy Rubber and the latex clothing business up for sale. A lot of industry folk seemed interested by what was on the table and the asking price for it, but no one emerged as a prospective buyer.
The Fetishistas: Fantastic Rubber catsuit recall
|Gossip|London|Gaga and Erin wear AK|
STUDDED PERFORMANCE: Lady Gaga dressed by Atsuko Kudo for the motorbike section of her curtailed Born This Way tour (photos: Picture Group)
Kudo kits out Gaga the bikerSaturday, 11 May 2013
Lady Gaga has released footage and images from her curtailed Born This Way tour, including stage outfits by Atsuko Kudo.
Our pictures show an Atsuko Kudo look designed specifically for the motorbike section of the Gaga show. Pre-empting this year’s fascination with all things ‘punk’, the look was heavily studded and strapped.
If you visit the new Simple Shop section on Kudo’s website and click on Studded Beret you’ll be able to view many items which now feature studding, or go to Bodies and Playsuits for more strappy bondage looks.
Incidentally we hope Gaga gets better soon after the hip operation that prevented her completing the tour.
In other AK news, British supermodel Erin O’Connor — described by Karl Lagerfeld as “one of the best models in the world” — has been photographed in a variety of Atsuko’s latex designs for Germany’s new Flair magazine.
In the shoot by Christian Ammann, stylist Miriam Dembach teams Kudo pieces such as the New York hat, Kitty collar, 50s Cup bra, Maria belt and Alejandra skirt with garments in regular fabrics — a look increasingly seen in high fashion but still somewhat on the starting blocks in the fetish world.
The most striking image in the set shows AK’s yellow Kitty collar and black Puff Sleeve blouse worn with a tight yellow-and-black fabric midi skirt.
All the items in the Flair shoot are available online and from Atsuko Kudo’s London store.
CATSUIT KING: Peter Pick with model Bjbiòszka Tschernobilly after Fantastic Rubber Fetish Evolution show
A fetish ‘first’? Fantastic Rubber recalls early catsuits
Monday, 22 April 2013
In what is believed to be the first example ever of a ‘fetish fashion recall’, German catsuit specialist Fantastic Rubber is offering to exchange suits it made up until the middle of 2009, which it has identified as suffering a high incidence of holes in the armpits.
The replacement offer applies to all suits with serial numbers below 500; also to unnumbered suits if made during the qualifying period (up to mid-2009). Suits don’t need to have developed holes to be replaced.
The replacement is not entirely cost-free — the company will make a charge of €100 (approx £86/$130) for each exchange. However, for that, you get an entirely new neck-entry suit. And if you know how much a new made-to-measure Fantastic Rubber suit costs, you may well consider that a bargain.
The same offer applies to replacement of suits with optional extras such as hoods and feet. Owner Peter Pick (above left) promises that all suits returned under the scheme will be disposed of — so there’s no possibility you’ll receive an old one that has just been patched up!
Peter blames the problems of the early suits on the Excel spreadsheet originally used to grade the patterns. “Of course this was not error-free and far away from optimal,” he admits, “and for the shortcomings of these suits I apologise.” Nevertheless, he points out, many of these garments have lasted at least four years.
If you think you have a suit that qualifies for exchange, go to the Fantastic Rubber website’s home page, where you’ll find detailed bilingual instructions for obtaining a replacement — which can be made in new colours and to new measurements if your size has changed. The exchange offer is open until June 30 2013.
|Gossip|London|Preaching movie restoration|
Crowd-funding plan to restore Preaching to the Perverted film passes first targetThursday, 11 April 2013
Crowd-funding pledges for the restoration of cult British film Preaching to the Perverted via Kickstarter.com have now passed the initial target of £18,000 — the minimum anticipated cost of restoring and digital remastering. However, continuing support will enable more enhancements to the original product.
By public demand the producers have already added English subtitles at their own expense, and with the first target reached, they have now commissioned technical reports on the sound and picture which will establish the levels of work needed for optimum quality.
Hitting the next target of £22,000 will enable a higher level of sound remastering, more subtitles (in French, Spanish, Portuguese and German) and the addition of audio commentaries including a brand new one from star Christien Anholt. It will also ensure that the many cans of original 35mm negative and sound can be preserved for a minimum of five years.
And, says director Stuart Urban: “If we approach the next level of £26,000, we will publish the new goals that will be attained, which will include further levels of the above plus new stuff.”
Written and directed by double Bafta winner Urban, and hailed on its release in 1997 as the first mainstream film set squarely on the fetish club scene, this modern British fairy tale was inspired by contemporary court trials of kinksters and people practising consensual BDSM.
It features Arnholt as an infiltrator gathering evidence for an MP keen to crack the whip on smut, who falls in love with a domme played by lesbian icon Guinevere Turner, leader of the House of Thwax 24/7 lifestylers. It also features much-loved British actors such as Keith Allen, Roger Lloyd Pack, Julie Graham, Ricky Tomlinson, Georgina Hale, Julian Wadham and Tom Bell.
Filmed in a high camp style with a cast and crew often drawn from the fetish, BDSM and LGBT scenes, P2TP is a joyful portrayal of alternative sexuality that makes people laugh, but also reflects on the way of the world and focuses on the importance of consent.
Interest in kinky topics in the wake of the Fifty Shades phenomenon has found a new audience for P2TP, but its revival on Blu-ray and HD digital download requires extensive restoration work. In order to fund this, the production company launched a campaign on crowd-funding website Kickstarter.com, to restore and remaster the 35mm original.
The initial aim was to raise at least £18,000 for the film to be preserved and reach a wider audience in HD.
Back in 1997 its release did lead to controversy, being the last film of the 20th century to be banned in Ireland and even being cut for home video rating in the USA in 2003. The BBC had developed but then dumped the project for being unshowable, yet ended up screening it several times anyway!
Not only the fetish scene, but LGBT, music and fashion press embraced the film and helped it become an enduring cult hit. There have been tribute clubs or nights in several countries in the fetish and goth scenes, and burlesque performers have been named after the film, the clubs it features and its main characters.
The cast and director are reuniting for this appeal and have offered over £2,000 worth of rewards and prizes to get people active on social media to promote the campaign. Among the incentives offered to donors is ‘dinner with a dominatrix’ as well as opportunities to take part in events planned to celebrate the revival.
A number of key scene people are also solidly behind the restoration project. Rewards and prizes are coming from Jed Phoenix of London, Coffee Cake & Kink, Mistress Caramel, Mistress Velour, and many more without people necessarily having to contribute money to the campaign — though the minimum is only one pound.
Some great rewards are on offer, and the viral video campaign has a £250 prize up for grabs — see the viral video link below. Follow the Kickstarter link for more info on how to participate.
STOP PRESS: There’s also a rumour going around that if the restoration project is successful, a P2TP sequel could be in the offing — but you didn’t hear it from us!
URBAN VIEWS: Preaching to the Perverted promo art and a selection of movie stills
|Gossip|London|RUB at Dukes|
HAPPY TIMES: Partygoers at Club RUB during its original tenure at Duke’s (photos: Jan FetishClubPix)
Club RUB returns to Duke’s
Thursday, 28 March 2013
A piece of London news that we first got wind of at Rubber Cult II in February, but were sworn not to reveal until it became official, has just been confirmed by a very excited Kim Rub. Club RUB is returning in April to its original venue and the place that really made the club’s name: Duke’s Bar in the City of London.
RUB reconvenes at the Houndsditch, EC3 venue on April 20, which by happy coincidence is also the club’s 16th anniversary. Says Kim: “I want to make it a very special night with all of the key figures from the fetish scene, as Club RUB still remains very much a real fetish club. With a very strict dress code.”
Kim reckons she can’t have a return to source/sauce without her old mates, adding: “When I got the conformation e-mail saying I could have all the dates for the rest of this year, the manager wrote ‘welcome home’! ‘OMG’ I whooped!”
Since losing her tenancy at Duke’s at the end of 2009, Kim struggled to find a new venue that worked as well for RUB nights, and she has hinted that in the current economic climate, this latest move could well be make or break time for the club.
No doubt she’ll be hoping that the return to RUB’s spiritual home will not only rally older fans who’ve been less supportive of recent venues, but also attract newer clubbers who haven’t previously experienced the delights of Duke’s, to make club RUB’s 16th anniversary a truly memorable one. Incidentally the theme for the event is Animal Menagerie with their Beautiful Beasts. Full details via the link below.
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