LONDON- A couple of weeks ago I had the privilege to enjoy a delicate Japanese sweet with Ms. Atsuko Kudo, the queen of Couture Latex.
Japanese born, London based designer Atsuko Kudo has been producing exquisitely feminine designs exclusively in latex since 2001. Her clothing has always been designed for those who wish to look and feel beautiful, feminine and strong and has been worn by some of the world’s most glamorous women including Lady Gaga, Dita von Teese, Beyonce, Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Eva Mendes, Janet Jackson, Christina Aguilera, J Lo, Kelly Brook and style icon Grace Jones.
Atsuko was the first to win the European Latex Designer of the Year, for 2008/09 cementing her reputation as one of the world’s most influential and innovative designers working in the field.
Atsuko Kudo has always been a legend for me, not only due to my love of latex rubber but also because she succeeded in giving this fabric an haute couture and uber-chic allure. Trust me when I say that nothing makes you feel sexier and more feminine than latex. It’s like a second skin, and gives a woman a magic shape.
When I walked in Atsuko lab/boutique in East London, I was not able to stop trying on everything…from stockings, cat suits, waspies, dresses, corsets, uniforms and much more…and the fun part is that you can customize each item with different colours, trims and prints. Her shop is a playground to say for good girls that have gone more than bad. They have gone wild, and yes, there are more than a few of us out there!! (visit http://www.atsukokudo.com/)
This time, however, my interview was more than about clothes, it was also about food, and I know that this is a big Atsuko passion. You might wonder, why mix food with fashion? These two forms of expression go hand in hand specifically in regard to preparation and the creative process. For Atsuko Kudo, cooking is like making a garment, you don’t simply do it, but you do it with care and imagination, ingredients that make all the difference in her clothing.
The recipe that Atsuko chose is a sublime Japanese dessert, sexily named the Strawberry Daifuku. It is easy and it is recommended with some Green Tea.
Here below the ingredients and preparation:
Yield: Makes 6 pieces
- shiratama-ko (glutinous rice flour) 100g
- sugar 20g
- water 150cc
- anko (sweet red bean paste) 30g x 6
- 6 strawberries (small)
- katakuriko potato starch or corn starch for dusting
Wash strawberries and remove the calyxes. Wrap a strawberry with about a spoonful of anko and rounds to make a ball. Make 6 balls. Put shiratamako in a heat-resistant bowl. Mix 2/3 cup of water and 1/4 cup of sugar in a small bowl. Pour into shiratamako, stirring well. Put the bowl in microwave and heat the dough for about two minutes. Stir the dough. Heat the dough in microwave until the dough inflates. Stir the mochi quickly. Dust a flat pan with some katakuri-ko starch. Also, dust hands with some katakuri-ko. Remove the hot mochi from the bowl to the pan by hands. The mochi is hot and sticky, so be careful not to burn your hands. Dust hands with more katakuri-ko starch and divide the mochi into 6 pieces by hands. Make 6 flat and round mochi. Put a piece of strawberry and anko filling on a mochi piece and wrap it by stretching mochi. Rounds the daifuku. Repeat the process to make more pieces.
I was so curious about Atsuko’s recipe choice, I had to ask why she chose it. She revealed the secret using these words: “This recipe reminds me of making latex pieces. It’s all about the handmade aspect and the manipulation of materials – very much in a craft spirit. The daifuku feels so soft like skin! And latex is like your second skin. Also, the finished piece has an erotic edge – when you cut through it, the wrapped strawberry (ichigo in Japanese) looks like a very precious and intimate part of us…”
This dessert is simply delicious and as special treat reminds us of an erotic shape. I can’t help but wonder does it stimulate more than the eyes and imagination? There is only one way to find out…