For early devotees of leather, rubber and vinyl fetish wear, Atomage magazine was the underground bible of the 1970s. Founded, designed and published by the English designer John Sutcliffe as a platform for his extraordinary talents as a manufacturer of weatherproofs for lady pillion riders, it quickly became a rallying point for explorers of every kind of fledgling clothing scene, functioning as both an instruction manual and a mirror.
The experimental clothing showcased in its pages, including items made by the readers themselves, transformed a passion for a sexual proclivity into a cult phenomenon. From motorbiking and mask-wearing, to mudlarking and wading worship, Atomage covered every conceivable variant on and use for fetish wear. The amateur photographs reproduced here reflect a golden age of DIY enthusiasm, before fetish became the industry it is today, and inadvertently depict a suburbia from which dressing for pleasure was a necessary escape. The outrageous costumes found in Atomage also served as inspiration to a then-new generation of fashion designers such as Vivienne Westwood, and many of these costumes have since been acquired by high-end collections. Compiling the most astonishing imagery from all 32 issues of this now extremely rare and sought after cult magazine, Dressing for Pleasure illustrates not just Sutcliffe's exceptional designs, but also, through their own photography and writings, the fantasies and desires of the Atomage followers.