Like human beings, love comes in all shapes and sizes - straight, gay, romantic, kinky, c in roses and covered in chocolate. Over the next few pages, The List goes all cupid stupi Valentine's Day 2000. First up comes the look of love: mainstream fashion designers are ta S&M styles to their corsetted bosoms, but it's London label MURRAY AND VERN that's really pioneering the fetish/fashion crossover. Words: Hannah McGill photographs: Murray And Vern


_, 6 vyhv ," y ' {3' i I? .wq‘3é.u‘

.0 “v 'r. ‘2 i i Q . r J” "l ' J A" . ' 0"?" ‘0‘; it!" I, .I g ' I’LIE Ir.‘ [,1 l.

" I do! ti-‘yl.,'t{ M 0' ., , 0'. . v ' "Iii/fl, , .fi‘?’ . 1‘70?! W" . 4 '1-

IT'S NO SECRET THAT FASHION HAS OF LATE been wont to plunder the fetish world for inspiration. Even a mainstream fashion icon like Madonna has aided its smooth and slippery shift into the forefront of modern culture.

Ownership of a rubber frock or a set of handcuffs might still raise the odd eyebrow. but the response from friends or partners is more likely to be saucily encouraging and mildly envious. rather than censorious. Mild S&M experimentation now comes in an Ann Summers carrier bag with a Cosmopolitan certificate of approval. which makes the process of selecting Valentine‘s gifts rather more interesting. Chocolates or candlewax'.’ Bra or blindfold?

lt‘s debatable whether this is a case of a society coming to accept and embrace sexual diversity. or just another triumph for capitalism‘s eternal quest to create new and lucrative markets. However. the influence of the fetish scene with its emphasis on creative self—expression and challenging images has certainly injected new energy into fashion and clubbing.

The clothing label Murray And Vern has long been at the forefront of this burgeoning crossover: they spotted the multi-scene potential of fetish fashion long before catwalk or high street caught on. Initially working in rubber. Angela Murray and Stuart Vern broadened their range when they began rendering their fetish—based designs in other >

3»—i7 Feb 2000 THE lIST103