After connecting on Instagram, Eugene Shishkin shot Moscow’s prolific latex dominatrixes, Mistress Tabu and Latex Angela, and their subs.
This article originally appeared on i-D UK.
Eugene Shishkin didn’t know anything about Moscow’s latex and BDSM community until very recently. Born and raised in Kazakhstan, he moved to London after leaving school to study photography at London College of Fashion, only moving to Moscow around three years ago to pursue a career as a fashion photographer. It’s within the last year that, intrigued by the tension between traditional Russian society and its far more liberated subcultures, Eugene began exploring the subcultures that lie beneath the city’s conservative surface.
“At first I was interested in latex, then it shifted towards fetish culture in general,” he says. “I think it comes back to two key childhood memories… porn and video games. It combines sexuality with a lack of detail on the body, leaving you only with shape. It reminds me of the old video games when computer graphics were poor and the characters were only shapes, yet the female characters were still overly sexualised.”
After researching what he could about the scene online, Eugene’s first challenge was to find real subjects willing to be shot in their outfits. The first, Latex Angela, had only got into latex around a year and a half ago, yet the outfits and the community have quickly become an integral part of their life, something they wanted to celebrate in the photos. “Latex very pleasantly envelops the whole body, squeezing it a little,” Latex Angela says. “The BDSM scene here is quite diverse, parties are held almost like everywhere else. But it is not advertised, because the tolerance of ordinary citizens is low… ordinary citizens don’t like my female alter-ego.”
“It was very important to shoot real fetishists, not models in latex, because I wanted to keep documentary aspect of it,” Eugene says. “The other model, Mistress Tabu, I found on Instagram, but people here in the fetish community are very reserved and afraid to meet or collaborate with anybody. She was only the second person I found who was happy to work together. So I asked if we could shoot her with her ‘slaves’. She invited three of her friends and we shot at her house.”