Luella, Lovefoxxx & the catsuit connection

With S/S 08’s newest surf-wear brand Luella For O’Neill now available, Luella Bartley’s choice of Lovefoxxx as the face of the range confirms the fashion forward place the CSS frontwoman occupies in the hearts of many music fans.

//Lovefoxxx fronts the new brand//

The irrepressible Brazilian christened Luísa Hanaê Matsushita is one of the most refreshingly wild and eclectic presences in pop, not least because she’s among the select band of female performers thrusting the sexiest of rock & roll garments – the catsuit – to the fore again.

//In sequinned suit at Glastonbury last year//

Just as Lovefoxxx helped put the catsuit back on the map with her multi-layered Glastonbury performance, Jenny Drag was garbed head-to-toe in leather for The Priscillas participation in THE LOOK’s rock & roll event at Port Eliot Litfest and wears catsuits in many of the band’s videos.

//Jenny of The Priscillas at Port Eliot 07//

We’ve noted here recently how Juliette Lewis has been rocking the all-over Lycra on the live circuit, while Pam Hogg catsuit designs have also undergone a resurgence.

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//Kylie switches into Pam Hogg halfway through 2 Hearts//

Kylie Minogue wore vintage Hogg in the clip for 2 Hearts and Naomi Campbell was shot in one of Pam’s new silver creations in Vogue a couple of months back.

//Naomi and Siouxsie in Pam Hogg//

As covered in THE LOOK, Pam has a highly creative partnership with her friend, post-punk priestess Siouxsie.

“She’s the perfect model for all my samples,” says Pam. “As she’s my mate I let her wear anything from my collection – so she gets the pick of the crop…and looks damn fine in them too!” That’s how Siouxsie came to wear Pam’s suits during her solo tour at the end of last year. Around that time they showed up in matching designs at the birthday bash of another diva (and Glastonbury veteran), Dame Shirley Bassey.

//Pam ‘n’ Shirl ‘n’ Sioux//

Of course the catsuit only, er, suits a certain type of performer. The Guardian’s Hadley Freeman has pointed out that attempts by stars such as Alicia Keys and Girls Aloud to jump on the bandwagon haven’t worked, just as J.Lo and Beyonce looked most unconvincing in all-over leather costumes for a Japanese Pepsi commercial in 2006.

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//Polly Harvey in the pink//

This is probably because they lack the edge and earthy sexual magnetism to carry off the all-in-one. PJ Harvey, for example, effortlessly created a stir in the pink number she wore for Glastonbury 1995, while those who have fallen for the ‘suit’s powerful and pervy charms include Madame Miaow, who spilled the beans to us earlier this year on acquiring a PVC one from Vivienne Westwood at Sex in the 70s.

The power of the catsuit lies in its charged contours which draw on the potency of such dangerously glamorous archetypes as Marianne Faithfull in Girl On A Motorcycle, Jane Fonda in Barbarella and Emma Peel in John Bates designs in iconic 60s TV show The Avengers.

//Diana Rigg as Emma Peel//

Lovefoxxx’s suits are from Peggy Noland whose boutique in Kansas City has only been open just over a year but has already taken the pop and fashion worlds by storm.

//Noland: Straight outta KC//

Lovefoxxx wears another creation by Noland – who also works with such bands as Tilly And The Wall – in the new Nike ad:

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//CSS in new Nike TV campaign//

We’ve yet to see whether La ‘foxx will get the chance to show off all-over suits for Luella’s new label. O’Neill’s reputation is predicated on their surf wetsuits, but so far Bartley’s collection comprises bags, canvas boots, swimsuits, T-shirt dresses, jeans and board shorts bearing the influences of such skate/surf icons as Peggy Oki.

Meantime when, THE LOOK wonders, are pop and rock’s male style leaders going to pick up the gauntlet thrown down by Lovefoxxx et al?

Maybe these low-slung crotch suits by Noland could provide a new fashion direction for, say, Nick Cave or Alex Turner?

C’mon guys, don’t be shy…

rockpopfashion said,

March 22, 2008 @ 8:53 pm


Here is a Wikipedia (I know) list of promo clips featuring catsuit wearers:

Confide in Me – Kylie Minogue wears a black latex catsuit.
Human Nature – Madonna wears a black PVC catsuit.
Independent Women Part I – Michelle Williams wears a copper red pleather catsuit.
It’s A Fine Day – Opus III’s Kirsty Hawkshaw wears a black catsuit.
I Want Candy – Mel C wears a black pleather catsuit.
Just a Little – Liberty X’s Kelli Young and Jessica Taylor wear black latex catsuits.
“More Than A Woman – Aaliyah wears a white leather catsuit.
Oops!… I Did It Again – Britney Spears wears a red latex catsuit.
Say You’ll Be There – Victoria Beckham (alias Posh Spice) wears a sleeveless black PVC catsuit.
There You Go – Pink wears a white leather catsuit.
Too Much – Victoria Beckham (alias Posh Spice) wears a black PVC catsuit with a feline headdress.
Toxic – Britney Spears wears a black pleather catsuit.
Who Do You Think You Are – Victoria Beckham (alias Posh Spice) wears a silver lurex catsuit.
Heart-Shaped Glasses (When the Heart Guides the Hand) – Marilyn Manson appears in a black leather catsuit.
Sexy! No No No… – Girls Aloud Cheryl Cole, Nadine Coyle, Sarah Harding, Nicola Roberts and Kimberley Walsh wearing black latex catsuits.

han said,

April 29, 2009 @ 10:31 am

I’ve seen that Lovefoxxx has designed artwork for a charity guitar auction. Force of the Street is an exclusive contemporary street art project to raise money for the charity ABC. Here’s the link if anyone wants a look at her artwork.

I’ve also seen on this site that Luella has designed ‘Mickey Ears’ to raise money for the Great Ormond Street hospital childrens charity, here’s the link if you want to check out her design too,

h said,

July 11, 2009 @ 2:08 am

Sexy! No No No… – Girls Aloud – best catsuits ive ever seen!

Rubbervita said,

January 19, 2010 @ 8:59 am

Nice catsuits!

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