They Like To Be Taped

Bound like this, walking is difficult, never mind about using the toilet, but it does not matter to these women. Fashion counts

Who wore it better? Or, should that be, who was more comfortable? Both are women who have an intense love of their own bodies, often wearing little to show off their well-tended skin and admirable curves, yet both have chosen to be mummified from the neck down, not with some linen strips, but by rolls of caution—actually, packing—tape. This is Balenciaga’s doing and it is all done under the auspices of the maison’s couture studio. The wrapping is completed by hand (!), fans of bandage-as-catsuit would remind us. Getting fitted for a dress can be a joy, but can the same be said of being bound by sticky, non-porous tape? Yet, Kim Kardashian and, now, Lisso is showing us that it’s okay to endure for fashion’s sake. Just as we thought that the latest cover of Vogue, with Emma Corrin lifting her right arm to show armpit hair, is the final visual frontier magazines will cross, Elle UK, not to be outdone, shows Lisso all wrapped up like the proverbial bak chang (rice dumpling). About Damn Time?

Fashion has to be inclusive. Every woman can be taped if she chooses to, if she is willing to put up with the discomfort, the restriction, the debilitation. To Balenciaga, this may be the art of ligature, but it isn’t known if the two women feel the same. Do they, in fact, consider this severe severe swaddling as sartorial emancipation? Although looking very much the antithesis of fashion (3M-Core?), Kim Kardashian was the first to allow herself to be this wrapped-up last March for the Balenciaga autumn/winter show in Paris. She could not walk properly to her seat and was afraid the supposedly low-tack tapes might rip after her posterior kissed the chair. Perhaps Ms Kardashian did not share her experience with Lisso.

To be sure, the Grammy winner did not look uncomfortable in that cover shot. But, in a video posted on Instagram, she tried dancing to About Damn Time, but could barely. She was as agile as C-3PO doing the Macarena. As she moved, it is clear that the Balenciaga wrapping specialists could not conceal her crotch (or was it mean to be crotchless?) And as she moved to her sides, you could see that her buttocks could not be properly covered (or was it mean to be peek-a-boo down there in the rear?). Even Balenciaga couture could not produce the perfectly taped backside. Polyethylene has more limitations than cloth, but to Balenciaga and their compliant friends, making a statement is infinitely more important. Or, as Lizzo sang in Truth Hurts, they simply “needed something more exciting”.

Photos: (left): AB+DM/Elle UK. (Right): Balenciaga