Wednesday, December 17, 2014

2014 Boot Roundup

It's a great time to be a boot fetishist (if you are one, you probably already know this) as designers are putting sexy designs into the marketplace with great regularity nowadays. Every season a fresh crop of new ideas and innovative styles pop up that push the boundaries of materials and technique even further than before. And they don't shy away from blatant, sexy S&M styling. 

All strapped up YSLs.

I'm interested not only for the fetish angle, but the design details as well. I always get inspiration for features that could be integrated into leather craft designs or bondage gear. To me shoes are the ultimate design challenge: make something beautiful but functional, completely impractical but totally sellable. Especially for the high-end brands, shoes are one place where selling the fantasy can over ride the rational part of your brain. Nobody needs a pair of 5-inch stiletto boots, but just look at them! Do we want them? Yes, we do! 

 The concept of what a designer would call negative space is a hot trend. Openings that allow the skin of the leg or foot to show through create an interplay of enclosure/exposure. Lots of designs seem to take advantage of laser-cutting techniques - a relatively recent innovation in shoe design. I'm also seeing some interesting things with woven leather (as in the Bailmans below), and almost architectural design elements (Daniele Michetti). Hand work has always been a part of shoe making, and the high end is bringing an almost craft aesthetic to some of their designs. 

Straps are happening everywhere, ranging from subtle contrasting-finish (patent on chrome-tanned leather in that subtle strap on the top of the Ballins), to the add-on almost harness look that is popping up (see the Emilio Puccis). The combination of lacing with additional straps just screams bondage to me, but hey I do see things a bit differently I suppose. 

Brian Atwood's designs are covering a lot of creative angles in use of different textures and materials to create contrast, all the while maintaing that sexy silhouette, and in a range of heights.

And finally Gucci this year had an incredible pair of boots on the runway: these skin-tight super tall beauties in black patent. 
I love the little detail of the horsebit hardware and loafer-style false front on the upper. The fit on the leg is incredible! 
 Unfortunately, by the time these hit the stores the design had been toned down a bit and they didn't fit nearly as close as the runway version. But at least they left us with these beautiful and inspiring photos. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Harness Hood modeled by Chloe Calypso

I am lucky to have worked with the amazing Lew Rubens in the past, which means he sometimes sends me photos of the projects he's working on and models wearing my gear. It's fun to see something in the ol' inbox from Lew, every time! 

These were a couple of cell phone snaps of Chloe Calypso (which I've doctored a bit) for your viewing pleasure. Although taller than the model the armbinder was made for, Chloe managed to somehow squeeze into it after a bit of a struggle...  But I'd say that posture collar fits her just right. 

Thanks for sharing, Lew! 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Armbinder Dress from PJW

I love the idea of restraint built into ordinary (or not-so-ordinary looking) clothing. These images are from my friend PJW (AKA Hazy Cosmic Joe), who is always coming up with great bondage ideas... You can see more of his work here on Deviantart

Be careful on those stairs my dear...

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

JIm Stewart of Fetters

I recently found a website created by Jim Stewart of Fetters UK and Mr. S Leather fame. It turns out he was quite an interesting character, based on the obituary in the Guardian. I had learned from my friends at Serious Bondage that Mr. Stewart was the creator of the sleepsack and straitjacket patterns that are still produced and sold by Fetters and Mr. S today. Mr. Stewart founded Fetters in London way back in 1976.

Maurice "Jim" Stewart passed away April 1, 2012.
I didn't know until now he also had a background in theater stage and prop design, as well as being an accomplished director and playwright. He also worked with Terry Gilliam to create the straitjackets used in the movie Brazil. I remember those!

His site is being kept online in order to make it accessible to us all, and it does reward the intrepid explorer who isn't put off by the rather confusing link structure and old-school design. It very much feels like a work in progress by an enthusiast covering a wide range of BDSM sub genres: topics include chastity devices, sleepsacks and straitjackets, bondage escape challenges and lock-on clothing. And of course, Houdini. There are tantalizing bits of text in the site: placeholders and notes to himself, including: "Find images of original designs not previously in other supply catalogues." I sure would love to see what he's talking about there...

I've highlighted a few links below to get you started:

A History of Fetters
  Index page

 Bags & Sacks Index

"Male" sacks

So I like to get tied up, so what?

Houdini Connections Home Page

Some nice armbinder pix from Dave and Elizabeth Andrews...

Elizabeth Andrews was kind enough to send along some images of the patent zipped armbinder I made for her being put to good use in one of their recent videos. It always makes me happy to see the gear in action! Thanks Liz...

Dave with his usual attention to detail.
Man, I wish we had this kind of apparel in my office. 
Of course, then we'd probably never get any work done. At least I wouldn't! 
You can never be too shiny in my opinion. 
I think the clip lives here at their "Office Perils" site... search for Johannie.

20 Questions for PD of InSex

I came across a list of things I wanted to ask if I ever had the chance to interview PD from InSex. I never got the opportunity, but figured I'd share the list as sort of an open letter. You never know, he might actually see it some day...

1. Very early on the insex site there were image of males (a man) in bondage. Was that you? Do you have any experience of the submissive side of S&M? If so does this influence your work? 

2. You posted a PDF of a hood pattern online a while ago, one of the few I was able to ever find online. What was your thinking behind sharing the design?

3. Over the years you have used a lot of incredible gear that is completely custom-made. I am thinking of the many hoods, collars, armbinder, latex stumped sheath, stratjacket, sleepsack. Do you make or have made the custom gear you use? Do you design it yourself? How involved are you in the design/production process? 

4. What is the story behind the fiberglass cocoon? Was that something you dreamed up? Who produced it? 

5. How do you find your models? You seem to use a lot of women who aren’t necessarily in “the business”. 

6. Is there a decent living to be made doing what you do? Or, do you do it regardless of the money? 

7. Do you consider yourself an artist who happens to work in the medium of S&M? Is the performance more important, or the product of the act (the videos and pictures produced) more important?

8. Who inspired you in terms of doing what you do? Do you have any fetish/bondage heroes? 

9. If you could have dinner with any historical figure, or any person living or dead, who would it be? 

10. Do you have a wife/girlfriend/significant other? Do you ever develop feelings for the girls you shoot with? 

11. Do you ever get bored doing what you do? Has it become routine?

12. What you do, is it a Job? A lifestyle? An obsession?

13. Do you think bondage is part of human nature? Does it scratch some sort of primal human itch?

14. What do you do on your time off? Any non-kink hobbies?

15. When did you first know you might be a little different?

16. What will bondage/S&M be like 100 years from now? 

17. Who is your mortal enemy? 

18. Do you have experience as a more traditional artist: painter/photographer? What were you going to be when you grew up? 

19. If you could change anything about the world, what would it be? 

20. Favorite meal? 

Submitted by Christopher 


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Random Collection of Images...

We probably have access to more images than any previous generation thanks to the internet… I can literally spend hours on tumblr browsing through random images taken out of context by people who re-post. The decontextualization lends a kind of mystery that always makes me curious about the image, its origin, who created it and why. I don't know what ties the following together other than I find them visually arresting and inspiring for one reason or another. 

Alexander Wang 2013