The artist formerly known as Ricki-Lee Coulter has, courtesy of her Fairy Godfathers at Ralph Magazine, been transmogrified into a fetishistic confection of leather, whips and zips.
Of her photographs Ricki Lee says:
I really want to look back at these pictures and think, “Wow, that was how strong and confident I was feeling after a really tough time last year.” It represents Miss Ricki-Lee feeling stronger than ever! My alter ego has been brought to the surface.
Ricki-Lee tells us that she loves her curvaceous body. Some stylist somewhere has told her that she would look rather intriguing trussed up as a dominatrix. I love dressing up as much as the next woman but my gripe is that I am unconvinced by this Halloween dress up version of girl power. Nae harm to the lassie (who is quite bonnie with a cracking figure as my Gran would say) but Dorothy the Dinosaur would make a more convincing dominatrix than Ricki-Lee.
Why am I unconvinced? First and foremost I expect a bit more in the way of authority from the average female supremacist. It not so much an age thing as an experience thing. I have long suspected that just about every woman who has children could probably have a damn good crack at offering the usual domination services.
Behaviour modification? A piece of pish, most mothers can ace this in their sleep. It takes a while, but the Naughty Corner works a treat which failing? The water spray.
Interrogation scenes? We have had a few of these Chez Caveat particularly surrounding the surreptitious removal of cash by my five year old for the purchase of Icy Cups at the School Canteen. While I am the first to admit that I am no Rumpole of the Bailey, I was pretty darn impressive in cross-examination on that case. The five year old was in tears in seconds.
Forced exercise? I am all for this personally particularly between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm on Sundays. A Bombay Sapphire and tonic always tastes so much sweeter when your children are in an exhausted heap on the floor. Also, as a yoga teacher I have a pretty good success rate in getting people to kiss their own backsides.
In fact, I have only recently just suggested to the Boss that we should add Financial Servitude to our list of services. This would make getting a retainer for legal services up front so much easier. Also, how nice would it be to have our clients not only thank us for our wonderful advice and telling them what to do but also be grateful for us taking their hard earned money off them and spending it on shoes.
Anyway, I digress.
About every 20 years fetishism returns to the mainstream, usually I have observed, about the same time as a revival in platform soled shoes. The last time that platform shoes were in fashion was in the 1990s. In 1993, Naomi Campbell famously collapsed in a heap after tripping up on the catwalk wearing Vivian Westwood’s purple ghillie fetish platforms. In the same year Tony Kaye directed the fabulous Expect the Unexpected advertisement for Dunlop(R) brand tires. The soundtrack was The Velvet Underground’s hypnotic ballad to sado-masochism Venus in Furs. If you have never seen this video do take a moment to have a wee shuffty here.
Ever fashion forward, Victoria Beckham seems to have spearheaded the fetish trend in mainstream fashion with her appearance at Macys on 28 September 2009 in 5 1/2 inch heel-less Antonio Berardi boots. In actual fact, Jennifer Connelly beat her to the fetish look by appearing in the October 2009 edition of InStyle UK sporting Nina Ricci fetish platform booties. The footwear worn by both women would not look out of place on the pages of Eric Kroll’s Fetish Girls book.
I am really quite at a loss whether to applaud these ladies for their bravery or deride them for their slightly ham-fisted appropriation of sub-sub-culture. In the balance though, I think that fetish costuming should actually be encouraged. Costumes allow people to create a reaction. The good side of creating a reaction is that the reaction may stimulate an interest in the therapeutic aspects of extreme human sexual behaviour. Also, if Victoria Beckham (and her stick thin followers) can engage the interest of their husbands a bit longer with fetish footwear, surely that is a good thing?
I will leave you to review the evidence, ahem, in your own time and revert to me in due course. Meanwhile, I am off to revise our law firm web site terms and conditions as follows:
Tributes and Gifts. Expand on your lawyers’ ever-growing shoe wardrobe! For ideas look here http://www.virtualshoemuseum.com/vsm/index.php.