Dressing for Pleasure: In Rubber, Vinyl & LeatherPrevious project Next project
205x140 mm hardback
AtomAge magazine was the underground bible of rubber, vinyl and leather fetish wear throughout the 1970s. Founded, designed and published by John Sutcliffe as a way of showcasing his extraordinary clothing designs, it inadvertently became a focal point for followers and explorers of every kind
of fledgling clothing scene.
For its readers AtomAge was both an instruction manual and a mirror.
From motorbiking and mask wearing, to mudlarking and wading worship:
it covered every conceivable wrinkle.
Compiling the most astonishing imagery from all thirty-two issues of this now rare and sought after magazine, Dressing for Pleasure illustrates not just Sutcliffe's exceptional designs, but also, through their own photography and writing, the very fantasies and desires of the AtomAge followers.
Fuel Publishing, an arm of 20-year-old graphic design firm FUEL, has built a solid reputation for producing distinctive books exploring themes related to art, design and photography. Dressing for Pleasure is a smart edit of imagery from AtomAge, the cult fetishwear periodical founded in the 1970s, by clothing designer John Sutcliffe. Now that fetishwear is a sophisticated industry, and integrated into high-fashion design, this collection of AtomAge photography is a fascinating documentation of its suburban underground roots.
The book revives a strangely innocent secret world... where readers were encouraged to send in photographs of themselves in their favourite outfits, resulting in a woman in head-to-toe rubber before a mantelpiece with a photograph of the kids on it, a man hosing down a caravan in leather waders and a gas mask, or a rubber-clad man on a ladder, by a shed, apparently engaged in some sort of sadomasochistic DIY. It made extreme fetish outfits look as threatening as a car boot sale in Cobham, normalising something previously seen as shameful.
Will Hodgkinson, The Guardian