PORNO CHIC: WHY SEX SELLS

Get your S&M on with @_namilia_ #bdsm #fashionshow ⭐️⭐️⭐️ #sex #runway #hellyes #sm #namilia #theuntitledmagazine @peoplesrevteam

A video posted by The Untitled Magazine (@theuntitledmagazine) on Sep 10, 2016 at 12:52pm PDT

We’ve always heard the phrase “sex sells,” but recently designers are taking that literally. Deemed by some as “porno chic”, collections aren’t just about sex appeal, but sex itself. Collections by Jeremy Scott, Alexander Wang, Hood by Air, and Namilia blatantly channeled bondage, BDSM, and PornHub.
From latex and leather materials, to metal chain embellishments, and even graphic tees and dresses with phrases such as “Rated X”, these shows were anything but discreet. They reject the “save a little for the imagination” mentality and embrace and celebrate sex.

Alexander Wang and Adam Selman’s more muted porn came in the form of button downs with tiny printed naked women as a print. Hood by Air featured phrases including “never trust a church girl” and vaseline covered hair. Granted the show itself was in sponsorship with PornHub, so it really was quite conservative given the derivatives. Jeremy Scott was perhaps the most “out there” porn inspiration headed by a man, with raunchy slogan tees, an abundance of fishnet, and a dress with a cutout in the middle strongly resembling a glory hole.

Jeremy Scot SS17 photographed by Getty Images.
Jeremy Scot SS17. Image courtesy of Getty.

Even as a proud feminist, these designs do not bother me. They bring up important conversations about the rise of the porn industry in the digital age, and the problems women face with this. The concept that women watch porn is only now becoming more commonplace, with articles published all the time now that analyze trends of women’s porn habits, as well as women discussing their first foray with porn.

Adam Selman chose his prints due to issues he was having with knockoffs. His tiny pornographic figures taunted mainstream labels, daring them to step out of their comfort zone with women’s sexuality.

These collections celebrate the fact that sexual conservatism is on the decline. That there is a market for such collections means freedom of sexual expression is on the rise. The epitome of this concept was the Namilia runway show. The brand’s first stand-alone show (they have previously presented on the VFILES runway and as part of Milk Made), was the most shocking of all the porno chic shows, and by far the most feminist powered.

namilia-invite

The show itself featured gimp masks, latex cone bras, leather straps, short ass-bearing chaps, and chains. But the most controversial aspect came in the form of its use of iconography, namely Donald Trump and Justin Bieber. Trump appeared in multiple pornographic scenes on a dress with “TAKE DOWN TRUMP” strewn across the breast. Bieber appears as a Christ figure on one dress, and the phrase “belieber” showed up on the crotch of a pair of leather, high waisted panties.

Hood by Air SS17 photographed by Getty Images.
Hood by Air SS17 photographed by Ben Sklar. Courtesy of The New York Times.

If spectators were expecting anything less, they should have paid closer attention to the Namilia manifesto, handed to them upon arrival. It read:

Visualization of the extreme power and madness of teenage fandom and turning boys into sexual playthings.
Reversing patriarchal society’s concept of female sexualization and objectification.
A mash up of hardcore fetish-wear, provocative slogans and NSFW visuals to create the true fashion activist.
-A celebration of the deviant and the freakish; reinterpreting the rebellious and sexual codes of punks and goths.
-Freeing yourself from the common rules of decency and letting your most inner fantasies run free.
-Take down Trump.

Close up of the prints at Adam Selman SS17. Photographed by Getty Images, courtesy of Elle.
Close up of the prints at Adam Selman SS17. Photographed by Getty Images, courtesy of Elle.

This brand brought the power behind the porno chic, and made sure everyone knew exactly what their point was: to question the sexual assignments still given to women at birth. The true fashion activist is right here, as these pieces are clearly more art than ready to wear. But that does not mean it is worth any less. Namilia proves porno chic is here to stay, if not in our wardrobe than in our society.

Politics influence fashion and our lives, and in these collections they all meet together. They reject further politicking over the female body. They reject the standard that porn is simply a male drive thing. They embrace women’s sexuality and pride in such. Most importantly, they are dominant this season, and aren’t going anywhere.

Namilia SS17 "You Are Just a Toy" photographed by Getty Images.
Namilia SS17 “You Are Just a Toy” photographed by Getty Images.

Article by Cassandra Gagnon for The Untitled Magazine

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