As a diehard fashion plate, I adore leather, vinyl, rubber and even a little latex for that certain look, though for me it’s more style than fetish. Kudos to Katy Perry for adopting the latex look and bringing it to the masses. The pop star’s timing was right, but when it comes to provocative latex fashion, it’s The Baroness who has been New York’s mainstay for more than a decade. Her latex fashions have been the talk of the town thanks to the monthly fetish parties she used to hold at Uncle Ming’s on Avenue B, as well as her elaborate designs for the Black and Blue Ball and other kinky galas over the years. That’s why I attended her Fetish Retinue Party last weekend at White Noise, the very site where she used to hold her monthly flings.
“Happy birthday!” a man in a shiny black patent leather jumpsuit shouted to The
Baroness, who was standing in the entrance wearing a spiky jeweled tiara and an electric blue evening dress laced up corset-like in the back. Her birthday was actually on Halloween but she decided to combine the party with the 11th year anniversary of her fetish gettogethers. You could almost feel the rubber filling the room, and you sure could smell it. Not surprisingly, most of the people in the bar were wearing black. At first, I didn’t know anyone and I sat at the bar, watching everyone mingle. “Hey there, how are you?” said an attractive woman wearing a strapless purple latex dress sitting nearby. It was Juliana, a performer I knew from a recent art show, sitting with two men who seemed madly attentive, even obedient. Although several of the people in the room were wearing restraints or lining up for the Spank- O-Mat, this was a friendly group and, before I knew it, a few more familiar arrivals appeared. Scenester glam couple Kamilah Darling and Addison Saville walked in, wearing hats and clad entirely in black. Darling’s chapeau was a huge, fringed affair, almost like a lampshade. Their pal Jordan carried a tray with a pig’s head on it emblazoned with a sign that said, “God.” “Is that a real pig?” I asked the zombified gent. “Yes. I got it in Chinatown for $30,” he replied.
With things getting spooky, I figured I’d go see what The Baroness was doing up on the stage. Expertly holding a bullwhip, she lashed a pretty brunette in a forest green leather halter dress. Pink ropes tied around her torso and wrists bound the girl, and with each lash of the whip, the captive maiden giggled in delight. Was this the so-called Gauntlet of Pain mentioned on her website? Getting a beating has never been one of my hobbies, but it was nice to see everyone having some good clean fun and looking so chic in the process. The Baroness is all about fashion, but she also makes latex straightjackets, body bags and something called the “Sucky Bed,” which attaches to a vacuum cleaner and completely immobilizes the person inside, who breathes through a tube.
I could see I had lots to learn about fetishes. I knew exactly how to make good use of a rubber corset or latex skirt. But what would I do with a straightjacket or body bag? The possibilities were endless. In fact, I had a few candidates in mind.