The Leather Harness

Over the years the leather harness has been seen as part of fashion but it is until just recently that they were less of a sexual or fetish issue.  Bondage fetish fashion has been around for years and pioneered by Madonna in the early 90s. The fashion trend appeared again in 2009 when it was all about leather, studs and chains. Now it has become something a little more classic and refined. It is still a fetish item but more luxurious in design.


Essentially a harness is a contraption that attaches a belt to a collar choker on the neck in some way. On the runway this spring it was seen without the studs and buckles in a flat thin leather augmenting long sweeping silk gowns.  Designer Ann Emeulemeeester envisioned it as an asymmetrical belt with several bands that stream up in one sheath of leather over the neck and that is worn with a long grey silk gown and pieces of floating shawl threaded through the asymmetrical bands.


Max Azria for BCBG concocted a leather harness without metal that attached in a V from the neck to the waist and was embellished with black lace. This was worn over a long bright white very formal looking gown with a boat neck.


Diesel Black Gold featured a harness in white canvass attached by netting, ties and zippers and pouches so that it resembles a vest. This subtle and quite wearable bondage look is a throwback to the nineties when bondage style clothing was a real street look.  This Diesel version features the vest fitted over a white sheer dress.


D-Squared has also featured a unique look that is a harness created out of black leather studded cutouts. This type of harness is made to look more haute couture because it is worn over a flouncy silk dress and also with a ton of heavy pearl jewelry.



Max Azria turned the whole idea of the harnesses into a high-end leather vest complete with a criss cross of wide leather straps. These harness-like vest were worn over the brand’s signature black and flesh colored bandage dress.


Some harnesses seen on spring runways were surprisingly dainty and looked almost like suspenders. Jason Wu featured two very thin black leather straps attached to a thin belt over a pink peplum dress.  Worn with sheer net gloves and stiletto sandals with sheer net socks the look was naughty but nice all at the same time.


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