Dressing for Pleasure in Rubber, Vinyl & Leather

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For early devotees of leather, rubber and vinyl fetish wear, Atomage magazine was the underground bible of the 1970s. Founded, designed and published by the English designer John Sutcliffe as a platform for his extraordinary talents as a manufacturer of weatherproofs for lady pillion riders, it quickly became a rallying point for explorers of every kind of fledgling clothing scene, functioning as both an instruction manual and a mirror. The experimental clothing showcased in its pages, including items made by the...
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Overview

For early devotees of leather, rubber and vinyl fetish wear, Atomage magazine was the underground bible of the 1970s. Founded, designed and published by the English designer John Sutcliffe as a platform for his extraordinary talents as a manufacturer of weatherproofs for lady pillion riders, it quickly became a rallying point for explorers of every kind of fledgling clothing scene, functioning as both an instruction manual and a mirror. The experimental clothing showcased in its pages, including items made by the readers themselves, transformed a passion for a sexual proclivity into a cult phenomenon. From motorbiking and mask-wearing, to mudlarking and wading worship, Atomage covered every conceivable variant on and use for fetish wear. The amateur photographs reproduced here reflect a golden age of DIY enthusiasm, before fetish became the industry it is today, and inadvertently depict a suburbia from which dressing for pleasure was a necessary escape. The outrageous costumes found in Atomage also served as inspiration to a then-new generation of fashion designers such as Vivienne Westwood, and many of these costumes have since been acquired by high-end collections. Compiling the most astonishing imagery from all 32 issues of this now extremely rare and sought after cult magazine, Dressing for Pleasure illustrates not just Sutcliffe's exceptional designs, but also, through their own photography and writings, the fantasies and desires of the Atomage followers.
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Editorial Reviews

The Guardian Weekend
AtomAge remains Sutcliffe's greatest achievement. It made extreme fetish outfits look as threatening as a car boot sale in Cobham, normalizing something previously seen as shameful.
The book revives a strangely innocent secret world, one that almost gained wider exposure in 1977 when the documentary-maker John Samson shot a profile of the fetish scene, with Sutcliffe looking and sounding for all the world like a retired major, albeit one wearing a vinyl catsuit and a chain around his neck.
Will Hodgkinson - The Guardian Weekend, Sept. 11, 2010
— Will Hodgkinson
Wallpaper
Fuel Publishing, an arm of 20-year-old London-based graphic design firm Fuel Design, has built a solid reputation for producing distinctive books exploring themes related to art, design and photography. This month's Dressing for Pleasure is a smart edit of imagery from AtomAge, the cult fetishwear periodical founded in the 1970s, by clothing designer John Sutcliffe.
Enjoying a 32-issue lifespan, it explored the emerging fetish scene, revelling in professional and amateur designs in leather, rubber and vinyl. 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.
Emma Moore - Wallpaper*, Aug. 2010
— Emma Moore
The Guardian Weekend - Will Hodgkinson
AtomAge remains Sutcliffe's greatest achievement. It made extreme fetish outfits look as threatening as a car boot sale in Cobham, normalizing something previously seen as shameful...
The book revives a strangely innocent secret world, one that almost gained wider exposure in 1977 when the documentary-maker John Samson shot a profile of the fetish scene, with Sutcliffe looking and sounding for all the world like a retired major, albeit one wearing a vinyl catsuit and a chain around his neck.
Wallpaper - Emma Moore
Fuel Publishing, an arm of 20-year-old London-based graphic design firm Fuel Design, has built a solid reputation for producing distinctive books exploring themes related to art, design and photography. This month's Dressing for Pleasure is a smart edit of imagery from AtomAge, the cult fetishwear periodical founded in the 1970s, by clothing designer John Sutcliffe.
Enjoying a 32-issue lifespan, it explored the emerging fetish scene, revelling in professional and amateur designs in leather, rubber and vinyl. 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 Guardian Weekend
AtomAge remains Sutcliffe's greatest achievement. It made extreme fetish outfits look as threatening as a car boot sale in Cobham, normalizing something previously seen as shameful.
The book revives a strangely innocent secret world, one that almost gained wider exposure in 1977 when the documentary-maker John Samson shot a profile of the fetish scene, with Sutcliffe looking and sounding for all the world like a retired major, albeit one wearing a vinyl catsuit and a chain around his neck.
Will Hodgkinson - The Guardian Weekend, Sept. 11, 2010
Wallpaper
Fuel Publishing, an arm of 20-year-old London-based graphic design firm Fuel Design, has built a solid reputation for producing distinctive books exploring themes related to art, design and photography. This month's Dressing for Pleasure is a smart edit of imagery from AtomAge, the cult fetishwear periodical founded in the 1970s, by clothing designer John Sutcliffe.
Enjoying a 32-issue lifespan, it explored the emerging fetish scene, revelling in professional and amateur designs in leather, rubber and vinyl. 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.
Emma Moore - Wallpaper*, Aug. 2010
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780956356239
  • Publisher: FUEL Publishing
  • Publication date: 10/31/2010
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 5.55 (w) x 8.11 (h) x 0.79 (d)

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