A Guide to the Sexual Fetishes That Inspired Christopher Kane A/W19

Pin It
Christopher Kane A/W19Via @christopherkane

From balloons to rubber and ‘wet and messy’ play

“We always do sexy in a different way from other people,” Christopher Kane said backstage after his A/W19 show yesterday. This is something the designer has been proving with relish over the past three seasons, which have seen Kane reference the titillating work of photorealist artist John Kacere for S/S18, the 1970s illustrated manual by Alex Comfort The Joy of Sex for A/W18, and emblazon clothes with slogans such as ‘Sexual Cannibalism’ for S/S19. 

His latest and perhaps most brilliant examination of the bizarre nuances of human behaviour took a stranger turn down the road of kink, exploring the sexual fetishists known as ‘looners’, ‘rubberists’ and ‘sploshers’ – people who are turned on by balloons, rubber, and the smearing of food and drink, respectively. These words were printed on dresses and tops, with rubber used to form shoes and coats, and clear, lozenge-shaped plastic bags – trimmed with Kane’s now signature diamanté – full of suspicious-looking coloured liquid. Curious? So were we. So, we decided to investigate...


A balloon fetishist is also known as a ‘looner’, and can be defined as someone who is sexually aroused by the balloon in all its different forms. Looners have a mixed response when it comes to the bursting of a balloon (often seen as a metaphor for orgasm or death) and distinguish themselves as either Poppers, NonPoppers or SemiPoppers. According to Wiki-loons, a section on dedicated looner website Looners United: “Generally, it’s about the material, the look, the feel, the shape, the colour and the many different ways you can interact with balloons, either alone or together with someone else or more people. It’s very hard to specify this fetish because it is like with every other thing, very individual. But for example you can blow it up, sit and lie on it, rub it, and you can pop it in many different ways. There are no limits so you can let go your own lust and creativity.”


The fetishistic attraction to rubber and latex is closely associated with the S&M scene and the wearing of custom garments made in these materials. But also, it can also constitute an attraction to the material itself, regardless of whether a person is wearing it on their body or not. When asked what the sexual appeal of rubber is, rubberists have answered: “The feeling of contentment and freedom when wearing skintight rubber really does it for me,” and “The sweet aroma of good quality rubber is also pleasant.” Gloves, boots, and industrial protective clothes (as referenced in the Christopher Kane show) can often be items that are particularly alluring to a rubberist. 


WAM stands for Wet and Messy play, a fetish that involves getting covered and/or rolling around in substances including but not limited to: gunge, paint, raw eggs, lotion, shaving foam, custard, peanut butter, slime, baked beans, jelly and cake. The term for someone who is into WAM is a ‘splosher’, and said ‘sploshing’ can be done either clothed or naked depending on the chosen scenario. There is often a slapstick element in WAM, with pie-throwing and oil-wrestling common interests. 9 1/2 Weeks eat your heart out (excuse the expression).