Here’s a trend that’s starting to stick: Women in nightclubs wearing nothing more than tape covering their bits and bobs.
Which leads to one painfully obvious question: Doesn’t it hurt to peel all that tape off?
This odd tale of the tape begins with Joel Alvarez, a photographer in Miami and creator of The Black Tape Project, which he calls “tape art and alternative fashion.”
Alvarez tapes pieces of black electric tape onto naked models to make it look as if they’re wearing swimwear. Skimpy swimwear.
Really skimpy swimwear.
And he’s popular. Very popular.
Gee, go figure.
“I do believe I’m the first person to tape someone in an artistic fashion,” he told the New York Post.
He’s so popular that scam artists pretend to be him online to con women, the Post reports.
“Apparently women clubbing only in duct tape is a thing now,” sniffed British Esquire. “You’ll all catch colds. Heed our words.”
Alvarez has taped up women from Las Vegas and New York to Europe and the Caribbean.
According to the Post he charges up to $1,000 for private taping sessions, which include a sexy photo shoot.
Women – from what it looks like mostly firm-bodied models and dancers – wait in line in clubs for their turn with him.
He also charges $55,000 for a live performance, according to the Post, but thousands of people also watch him work on videos he posts on social media.
Gee, go figure.
Back in 2008, as he was just starting out as a photographer, Alvarez was commissioned to photograph a model wrapped in black electrical tape.
Cocooning a woman in tape didn’t get his creative juices flowing, according to his resume. But the idea stuck with him.
He created his own technique of using black electrical tape to create designs on women’s naked bodies — strategically placed pieces of tape that followed the curves of the female form and hid what needed to stay private.
He has told Instagram followers that he cuts the pieces of tape on the spot and that it takes him about two hours to decorate one body. More modest women opt for the torso-only look.
Then, Alvarez started working with gold, shiny, reflective tape.
Last month he found new fans when he took The Black Tape Project to the beach for the first time.
His photos and videos of the photo shoot – where he covered a model with tiny pieces of shiny gold tape to replicate a bikini – quickly went viral.
People online couldn’t figure out if the model was wearing clothes. She was so shiny some people thought she was a hologram.
And what about the weird tan lines she’s going to get, people worried.
“Though the gold tape is strategically placed to technically make the look Instagram-friendly, it’s giving the #FreeTheNipple trend a run for its money,” noted Teen Vogue.
This whole taping-naked-women situation left beauty bloggers for Yahoo in Australia scratching their heads.
“We have been left with several questions. How much pain will these women be in as the tape is removed?” they wondered.
“How is the tape even removed from down there? What do you have to do to be born as brave as these women?
“Let’s hope this bizarre look doesn’t make an appearance in the real world any time soon.”
Who knows if it will, since Alvarez recently announced a “phase 2” and “phase 3” of The Black Tape Project are coming soon.
“Considering changing the name of the project now that I don’t use black tape much and the experiment is over,” he announced on Facebook this week without disclosing the results of his “experiment.”
“What do you guys suggest. Let’s be serious though. The clear tape project is out of the question.”