Murray & Vern x The Rubber Ball 
Fetish fashion brand Murray & Vern was founded by Angela Murray and Stuart Vern as Fetish club-culture blossomed across London and Manchester during the '80s and '90s. Alongside Kim West and Vivienne Westwood, the label was beloved by Fetishists for its erotic minimalism and streamline silhouettes. Angela Murray and Skin Two Features Editor Michelle Olley were regulars on the Fetish club circuit and in the early '90s, helped to produce a groundbreaking club night that was soon mimicked across the globe. 
Named the Rubber Ball, the event hosted kinky people in glamorous latex bodysuits and classic Fetish looks like the dominatrix, nurse and gimp. It was a declaration of pride and a sort of 'coming out' for the Fetish community which, as Tim Woodward notes, was "about a generation behind the Gays" in publicly claiming their place in society (largely due to social prejudices and a fear of repercussions in the workplace and at home). It featured Murray & Vern's debut fashion show; an eclectic collection of sleek candy coated PVC bodices, latex catsuits and harnesses worn by Fetish models of different sizes and ethnicities. 
The Rubber Ball was a huge success and continued to be held annually in London. Famed iconoclasts like Vivienne Westwood, Jean Paul Gaultier and allegedly Mick Jagger (in a fake moustache) were spotted at the event. 

Click here to watch the clip. 

"Murray & Vern's style evolved from the classic pencil skirt and lace back dresses into different fabrics like lycra and a slightly sporty aesthetic. I feel like we were at the vanguard of what Fetish could mean." ~ Michelle Olley  
"Our fashion runway for the Rubber Ball was a real celebration of diversity." ~ Angela Murray
"The Rubber Ball was my friend, Michelle Olley's idea. She said: We'll have a big public celebration of Fetish glamour. We'll do it for charity and it'll make the big statement that the Fetish community is here and it's got a very glamorous side to it. We're about or a generation behind the gays but we're trying to catch up." ~ Tim Woodward
"It's a beautiful thing to be part of a scene. It's a very magical, precious thing. And I'm very grateful to Tim and Tony and all the people around at the time, who took a chance on me. It was a great way to spend my twenties." ~ Michelle Olley 

Tim Woodward. Skin Two Magazine Editor 
Michelle Olley. Journalist & former Features Editor at Skin Two Magazine
Angela Murray. Fashion Designer & Co-Founder of Murray & Vern 

Murray & Vern photographs
Photography by Peter Ashworth  
Art Direction and design by Murray & Vern 

Skin Two Ad. Issue 7, 1985
Murray & Vern fashion show at the Rubber Ball, early ‘90s

Murray & Vern. Fetish fashion brand

Cover image. Murray & Vern x Skin Two catalogue cover.

Peter Ashworth. Photographer
Murray & Vern. Fetish fashion brand
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