Molly Younger's washable luggage is made from latex
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Molly Younger's washable luggage is made from latex

Australian fashion designer Molly Younger has created a range of flesh-like rubber bags and wallets cast from natural latex.

The collection, called Range 1 – Early Sculptural Forms, is the Melbourne-based fashion designer and artist's first commercial collection.

The series includes one bag cast from bubble wrap and another modelled on a paper lunch bag

The series comprises two wallets and six rubber bags, including one cast from bubble wrap and one modelled on a paper lunch bag.

To cast the bags, Younger applies natural latex by hand to heavy plaster moulds that look like sculptures, and uses cotton tape to reinforce the handles. Wallets are lined with wool felt and have zip closures.

The Picture Tote, Landscape Bag, Lunch Bag and wallets feature prints by local photographer Jack Younger

"The process varies for each bag," Younger told Dezeen. "I brush a latex and paint mix onto the mould, building up the layers one at a time with drying time in between each layer."

"Many factors can affect the time it takes from environment to types of paint and colour," she continued. "The process is very labour-intensive. It's manual work, and it takes considerable patience and care."

While the Duffel, Bubbled Tote and Pot Bag are available in a selection of colours, the Picture Tote, Landscape Bag, Lunch Bag and wallets – available in both small and large sizes – feature prints by local photographer Jack Younger.

The range includes the Duffel, which is available in a range of colours

Younger has been making garments and artworks using moulds for over eight years, since studying at RMIT University in Melbourne, where mould making was a focus of her work.

"My current collection of latex luggage came about as I wanted to develop accessories for everyday life, with a grounding in conceptual practice, continuing to utilise mould making, casting and latex," Younger said.

The Pot Bag also features in the range

"I wanted to produce from a process that combines techniques from fashion practice with sculpting," she added. "The end result of combining these leads to not only a finished seamless piece, but leaves behind a mould, a sculpted form in its own right."

In addition to being waterproof and washable, Younger said the bags are stain-resistant and easy to care for.

To cast the bags, Younger applies natural latex by hand to heavy plaster moulds that look like sculptures

Other fashion designers working with latex include Valeska Jasso Collado, who combined metal, foam and latex to create Memphis-influenced garments for her University of Westminster graduate collection, and graduate textile designer Shai Langen, who created a collection of materials by combining liquid latex with calcium nitrate for his graduation project at the HKU Utrecht School of Arts.

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