Kennebec Journal - Latex Clad Mannequins
By Betty Adams
April 7, 2007
Augusta - life imitated art Saturday as four women posed as mannequins and a storefront window. They all wore latex mini dresses a vibrant blue, yellow, orange, and pink with matching or contrasting 6-in stiletto heels.
And they smiled and waved occasionally at passing motorists, a disconcerting experience for pedestrians who assumed it first lands that the models were still lifes.
The live modeling began at 10:00 a.m. as part of the grand opening of archenemies at 182 water Street. A fashion show inside the store was set to begin at 8:00 p.m. Saturday.
Owner Nate LaChance greeted customers and news crews and set about buying food for the models, who included his wife and business co-owner Carrie LaChance. He paused to sell a white Teddy to a woman who said she lived in Augusta but declined to give her name. "It's no one's business that I buy sexy underwear," She said. Along with lace teddies, the store offers bustier's, garter belts, $40 latex mini skirts, and other luxury items designed to inspire and scandalize, depending on the point of view.
A long red latex ball gown with spaghetti straps and a lace-up back sizes small and medium goes for $99 as do the mini dresses. Long rows of high heels some with platform soles glittered and gleamed with bright colors. The styles were gravel and sandwich. One luscious shoe was bright red with a 6-in brown stiletto stacked heel. Price is ranged from $22 to $58 with some higher. A carousel held white, black, and red thigh-high boots that Cruella de Vil would have envied.
Adjacent was a carousel of handcuffs, black and silver, at $22 each with keys. Techno music with enigma played in the background. Nate LaChance said he'd had ArchEnemys as a business and web present since 1998, but it has been low key until now. "We wanted to come out in 1998, but we weren't ready", he said. "We moved on and we did other stuff." For a while, he ran a comic book store known as Wallcrawler at the same site.
The store flirted with live models briefly a year ago when spellbound, which occupied a store across the street, came under fire from people who disapproved of lingerie-clad models posing in the storefront. Live models stood on Wallcrawlers ArchEnemys to offer support. This time LaChance said, the live models would be in the window on Friday and Saturday.
On Saturday, they attracted the attention of news crews and family and friends, many of whom hugged LaChance when they entered. One man brought a gift of flowers. One passenger and a minivan traveling in the center lane on water Street smoothly slide open a side door and snapped a flash picture of the woman.
Another driver used his green cell phone photo to take a photo of the models. "I've had a lot of thumbs up," said Danielle McQuillan wearing a yellow latex dress. Carrie LaChance said the fabric of her blue, turtleneck latex mini dress was comfortable. "It feels really cool on," she said, "If the sun is bright and you're in it, it does get hot".
ArchEnemys also offers items, videos, and photos through its website are ArchEnemys.com in one, Carrie LaChance and fellow archangels Shana Ferguson of Waterville wears stilettos and tiny outfits as they serve food at Winslow House of Pizza. "Online sales are going to be higher than in the store because we sell worldwide," Carrie LaChance said.
Emily Owen of Augusta is an archangel in the making wore an orange mini dress with white stilettos and ankle straps. She eased her aching arches with an occasional rest on a tall wooden stool. Carrie LaChance said the couple chose Augusta because Nate LaChance already had a comic book store there and sold a few high heels. "We thought it would be a great change for the community and offer something different," he said, "I think people are going to like it."