O Boutique Seoul store stocks latex by London’s Dead Lotus Couture and others. Pictured: Coakto Crop Top, Kotodama Round Skirt
O Boutique, Seoul — Korea’s first (and so far, only) store selling latex fashion — saw its international profile boosted this summer by its addition of new brands that excited latex-watching websites.
The shop (see bottom photo) in the Gangnam district of Seoul is an unashamedly upmarket emporium that includes a carefully curated selection of latex brands among its stock of classy bodycon fashions.
Opened a little over a year ago, O Boutique (aka OBTQ) was created by Jason Lee to offer haute latex and related bodycon style to fashion-conscious Koreans who will have seen a lot of this attire sported by Western celebrities and fashionistas, but not previously had access to it from a domestic retailer.
Non-latex brands at OBTQ include London haute corsetière Kunza’s Corsetorium label, whose Althea Lace Corset is shown here
Given the international prominence currently enjoyed by other products of Korean culture such as movies, TV shows and the ubiquitous K-Pop music, you might find it surprising that the country has been somewhat behind the curve when it comes to latex and similar fashions.
This is partly because of the negativity that exists in Korean culture for anything associated with ‘fetish’. And if you expected that K-Pop would be the perfect way to break that taboo (given all the latex worn by Western popsters), that would not appear to be the case either.
As anyone who has been following any of the recent scandals around the Korean pop industry might have noticed, K-Pop is as conformist and traditionalist as other aspects of the country’s culture and is not exactly a vehicle for protest, cultural disruption or the progressing of women’s rights!
This Charice Bodysuit in Latex and Chiffon is an example of Lüllepop’s mixing of latex and non-latex fabrics in single garments
Jason has wisely concluded, therefore, that the way to introduce latex fashion to the Korean public without its potential negative connotations is to mix it with other ‘softer’ bodycon clothing utilising other fabrics — including some designers who combine latex and non-latex fabrics in single garments.
A great example of the latter that can be found at O Boutique is the German label Lüllepop, which mixes latex with fabrics such as chenille lace and chiffon in a range of styles notable for their elegance. An example of this hybrid style — Lüllepop’s Charice Latex and Chiffon Bodysuit — can be seen above.
For Koreans willing to plunge in at the deep end with an unashamedly full-latex ensemble, O Boutique, Seoul stocks high-end outfits by Dead Lotus Couture, aka London-based Japanese-Italian designer Nange Magro, who also creates latex-and-fabric-mix styles. Her celebrity customers include Madonna, Gwen Stefani, Cardi B, Nicky Minaj, Janelle Monai and many more. One of Nange’s latex ensembles — the Coakto Crop Top and Kotodama Round Skirt — is shown at the top of this page.
Latex is also available at O Boutique, Seoul from another internationally famous label — Westward Bound, one of the shop’s most recently added brands. Above left we show one of WB’s more ‘severely-styled’ rubber corsets, the Valencia Harness Latex Overbust Corset.
For corsetry that comes in leather and other shiny fabrics, O Boutique offers garments from the German label YourShape. These include the Los Angeles Long – Silver Holo style shown above to the right of the previously mentioned Westward Bound corset.
Elegant fabric corsetry, on the other hand, is among the selection on offer from Corsetorium, a London-based brand run by haute corsetière Kunza, whose made-to-measure clients include Angelina Jolie, Nicole Kidman, Jessica Chastain, Elizabeth Hurley and Gemma Chan. Corsetorium’s gorgeous Althea Lace Corset is shown in our second-from-top image, on the right.
Satin Bra Top and matching Skirt from Romanian brand Murmur, whose celebrity clients include Madonna, Beyoncé and Lady Gaga
Another O Boutique brand specialising in sensual/bodycon styles is Murmur, the Romanian/International label that covers everything from lingerie and corsetry designed as underwear and/or for show, to sexy dresses and separates. Murmur designs have been worn by Madonna, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Gigi Hadid and Katy Perry among others, so it must be doing something right! A Murmur satin bra top with matching skirt is shown above.
Last but not least, you might have noticed some shoes in the background of the photo at the top of this page. That’s because O Boutique, Seoul also stocks some fabulous heels — from Shoebidoo numbers like the Sadie Black Matte Oxford Ankle Boots shown below to other killer styles by Les Jeux du Marquis and Pleaser.
O Boutique’s website is helpfully divided into sections representing each of its brands, and includes general imagery from each brand as well as dedicated brand shop pages. The site is mostly in the Korean language, and at the moment sells online only within Korea. You can find the site at: www.obtqstore.com.
The O Boutique Seoul store (interior shot below) can be found at:
OBTQ Co Ltd
18-4 Dosan daero 45 gil
The elegant interior, below, of the O Boutique Seoul store, which is located in the Korean capital’s Gangnam district