Thursday, June 18, 2009

Harness the Power

There was a time when wrapping your torso in chains would be considered deviant behaviour, or at the very least a very obvious homage to S&M culture. Well you heard it here first -- body harnesses have now entered official accessories vernacular. They may be a bit extreme for everyday wear, especially in uber-conservative Hong Kong, where a strappy tank top in a non-expat-overrun district could be cause for lewd construction-worker stares and rubbernecking, but what's so lovely is the ability of a harness to ooze sexiness without being overtly sexy in and of itself.

Bliss Lau really is the gold standard when it comes to chaining yourself up. She is to body harnesses what YSL is to the smoking jacket. The definition of X equals Bliss. The only problem is the prices, which start at US$150 and go up to US$600 or more... oh, to have unlimited funds with which to frivolously purchase oddities and knick-knacks and relics of fashion that have no practical use or worth... 

Babooshka Boutique is very popular in the blogger world, mainly because she wisely markets her Etsy shop by sending her handmade pieces to blogger-bigwigs like Jane from Sea of Shoes or Camille of Childhood Flames. This studded leather knockout will set you back US$110.

Another take on the harness -- an elasticized, corset-like ribcage-binding structure by iheartnorwegianwood that comes in multiple textures and fabrics, from plain-Jane black or white to plaid, or decorated with fringey epaulets. They're also relatively cheaper, starting from US$45.

Part fashion shop, part online display case, artlab puts together these avant-garde pieces that combine architectural structuring with the soft and pretty for a jarring juxtaposition. This white leather corset/harness is just one example, and is one of the cheaper items in their collection at US$58.

If there's a homemade version of the blissful Bliss Lau stuff (speaking of which, isn't that the BEST name ever? love whimsical hippy names with Chinese surnames) then it's armor, who does body chains only slightly less chunky than Lau's, but with a similar eye for draping chains. From US$140.

And now in a similar vein, but slightly less pricey, Leviticus Jewelry's happy harnesses start from US$79.

Last but not least, another likeable leather option. This Hannah Marshall piece comes in black and white, and is especially daring for its back-to-front structure. They look like suspenders (or braces, whatever you call them) but turned around backwards. Hm, do I smell a DIY harness made from le boyfriend's suspenders? These babies go for 140 pounds.

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  1. I really like the Art Lab one! Who would have thought a ruffled white harness would look so cute? Also, Alicia from Instant Vintage has one for sale in her etsy shop:

    at a very reasonable $40!

  2. Litter also makes some great pieces by upcycling vintage/thrift shop jewelry. Not just harnesses but also head chains and leg ones. (and other great stuff). I almost don't want to publicize them because it makes snagging their one of a kind pieces more difficult! :) enjoy

  3. I like the artlab one as well. Very cute in white.

  4. i prefer the subtly of the bliss lau and armour chains.

  5. I love that harnesses have made the jump into daywear! I have a beautiful leather harness belt in my etsy shop, as well as several more styles on the way: