Since it is sooo cold out there (for most of the US, anyway), I thought I would warm up your Sunday with a brand-spanking new interview! Kinky and elegant (now that is a combination), Kriszta Latex delivers a wide range of latex fashions for many different tastes. Here is what she has to say about herself! Sit back and enjoy.
I'm a Hungarian gardener... yes, and I'm still here and assembling all sorts of clothes. When I was little I got a headache all the time when I was asked what I was going to be when I would grow up - and that was a frequently asked question - and I could never say anything really thought out. And I can't say either that "oh, I wanted to be a designer ever since I got to my senses". :-) But I have always loved nature and the little critters in it. I pretty much have always had some sort of rascals (hamsters, gerbils, rats) at home. Then eventually I discovered that there are those green things around them and how little I know about them. So I ended up in the University of Horticultural Sciences... and I became a Biotechnologist. :-D Then came motherhood and now here I am, I've learned tailoring and designing and pattern making and now I'm doing something completely different.
I think at most times I'm going with the flow and this can take me to some very interesting places and destinations. :-)
How did I find Etsy?
I've found it a few years ago browsing another latex crafter's shop, but at that time I didn't think I'd sell my clothes here. Than I still opened my little shop here about a half year ago. And I wish I'd done it earlier, because I love this site.
Describing my style, influences on my style
Plants have a major influence on my style, but I use many things that catches my eyes. I think I'm curious... and I'd like to mix lots of things with rubber, or try out latex in all sorts of roles. So my style would be experimenting.
As for artists' influences, I think I just try to catch the sense of style or fashion of certain artists, designers, but some everyday people as well.
How long have I been creating?
With latex I started my first trials (and errors ;-P) about 5 years ago (though I knew latex for much longer). But for seriously I started to make latex clothes 3 years ago. My first piece was a little-pillow cover. The first outfit that turned out good was a dress for a friend and she liked it. After that I managed to create my own patterns for stockings and hoods and that made me more confident. In the meantime I studied pattern-making and I try to keep up with the market's demand for the very wide variety of clothes and accessories every now and then.
What do I enjoy in latex - and why is it unique - and what do I hate
For me the main thing is "employing" my creativity. Latex is a very good material for that. But then there is that very sensual characteristic of latex that makes it so unreplacable: its smell, look and touch. I think it's an amazing material: though it's 100% natural, it looks so "plastic-like"... and as you got to wear something made of it (that fits to you and your style too) you'll understand how it can bring something deeply hidden out of you. So other than the 2 reasons above, I love this transforming ability in latex.
What is it that I dislike: well... not too many things... probably when I have to clean off the glue remnants from the finished clothes. :-)
But on a more serious note: I dislike when people keeps mistaking PVC, latex and lycra. I dislike when everything that is shiny and black that is "latex" in the media. And I dislike when everybody who wears latex is a dominatrix, a homosexual or a pervert. I hate these generalizations.
People don't really ask me about them. Who are allergic to it, they know what it is. Who are afraid of having it, they most likely won't buy anything latex containing to avoid any contact - I couldn't convince them anyways. And there are those, who would love to own something latex... they rather believe to those who already have and wear latex for years - and has no problem with that at all.
I heard that latex allergy appears after prolonged (extended) periods of wearing and skin contact. I also heard that it's due to the transmission of small particles of latex (molecule chains) onto the skin, but to be honest I don't really know the exact process. Anyways, I also heard that if we don't use talcum powder (which can act as a molecule transmitter) then the risk is smaller.
Mentors or self-taught?
I learned almost everything through trials and errors. Of course I haunted the internet and the bookstores for every information, methods, techniques I could use, but the key things were discovered by myself.
Selling throughout the year
There aren't really peaks other than Christmas time.
My creative process
I wonder... I think I pretty much do it like everybody else. If I work on an order for someone, I try to figure out what could fit to their personality and style... let alone whether they prefer it tight or loose. :-) Sometimes it's tough.
If I just create something for my fun, then I think I like to grab it from the "other end": figure out something unusual. But then again, I think everybody does it like this. :-)
There are lots. I love the Almond Ikebana dress if I have to mention just one. But most of my clothes have an own story, I remeber how happy I was when I figured out the first sketches and later when I finished them and in the end finally tried them on for the first time.
Once a customer wanted to have flames on a t-shirt. 2 toned flames. I made several trial pieces onto scrap materials, so in the end I had a few that were left. And one day my son pounced onto them and went all excited - so I put one onto a t-shirt for him to his name day. Though he only wore it once. :-P
I have lots of scrap pieces, so I used to play with them occasionally - and once I made several flowers from individual petals using up many small leftover pieces... in the end they ended up on the hem of a simple pink skirt. In the beginning it was meant to be an underskirt for one of my pleated skirts: it accented nicely the pleats and the rather straight cut ("A-line") of that "upper" skirt. Though I wonder if anybody understood what I wanted to do with it. :-)
I have also made a complete dress out of my scrap bags and then this became my "oh, I don't have a rug to wear" dress. There wasn't a simple piece on it that wouldn't have been "up-cycled".
In the case of my tartan top I very much enjoyed using transparent black stripes on the yellow base, because they completely give back the original look of the tartans: there are also stronger joints at the crossings of the stripes.
The fishnets are also one of my favorites: they just simply looks good, in my opinion.
The Mondrian dress is actually an homage to Yves Saint Laurent and his Mondrian dress. But I tried to show a fetish side: so I replaced every white part with transparent and tweaked a little the proportions to make it into a not-showing-everything-for-once type of cut.
I love applications on latex: so when the first Ikebana dress was born, I went a little overboard. There are over 200 hand cut flowers on the Almond dress. And I watched and tried to understand the characteristics of the Ikebana art to arrange my tree's branches around the dress. As I said, I love plants.
And later came the Chaenomeles (Japanese quince) which is a beautiful shrub and I particularly love its look - and the strawberry t-shirt.
But if I just go out to a party, then it's almost sure that I'll choose a pleated skirt, a jacket and stockings.
Best reaction I've got
I think the mirror tells it all. I love to observe the surprise in the eyes of a customer when they first try on their clothes, when they understand why it is a special material.
I'm a little introverted and used to say I'm an average girl, meaning that I think I have a slight clue what a "shy" woman might like in a latex outfit. Or in general, someone who is not yet into the fetish side and approach, just enjoys the unique feeling and fashion look. Because I can clearly remember how I felt back then... my first meeting in the mirror with my other myself (can't put it better). :-)