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SPIKING INTEREST: Fetish-influenced items like this 'burbs heel'from Jeffrey Campbell are all the rage.


Mainstream Bound

By Jessica Fromm

WITH strappy leather, buckles, zippers and shiny PVC making their way into everyday wear, women's fashion has definitely been on a bad-girl bondage binge lately.

Who knew that it would be considered edgy-chic for women to look like they're part of a motorcycle gang transversing the barren dystopian wasteland, when they're actually just gussied up to go out for drinks with the girls?

Though crotch-harnesses, blinders and ball gages haven't quite found their way into daily attire, slightly tamer bondage-tinged apparel—like zipper-covered leather jackets, thigh-high boots, studded sandals, corsets and even tight PVC dresses are making public appearances.

These S&M inspired ensembles began showing up last fall, when they were all over the New York and Milan fashion weeks. The trend seems to have decided to filter down and hang around for the winter.

Rihanna is a well-known fan of bondage fashion, sporting nothing but an array of show-stopping leather and spandex outfits on her worldwide Good Girl Gone Bad tour last year. Even Paris Hilton has been rocking latex dresses and leather miniskirts, after putting herself back on the market last month.

The most visible evidence of this kinky trend can be seen in footwear, where platform ankle booties adorned with studs and wide-leather-strapped heels have successfully seduced many a stiletto-wearer. Though these styles are all the rage, they do have the tendency to make one's pins look shorter, so petite girls be warned. Refusing to die, even leggings have taken on a vampish edge, popping up under skirts and dresses in glossy latex, metallic spandex and even stretchy velvet.

Though a smattering of leather straps and buckles might float your boat at home, truth be told it's not everyone's cup of tea to be seen wearing fetish fashions while walking down the street. We can't all be Dita Von Teese, and it takes a certain type of confidence to successfully hint at leather-bound fantasies without looking affected.

The practical application of this trend lies in exhibiting a hint of eroticism without looking like you just finished a late-night spanking session at the local dungeon. By wearing items embellished with studding or the occasional tight leather skirt, you can suggest kinkiness without swerving into tastelessness.

Try and tone it down by never wearing more then one bondage-themed item per outfit. Also, don't run the risk of looking like Halle Berry in Catwoman by sporting head-to-toe leather. Finally, have fun with this bondage trend while it lasts, and as always, have a safety word.

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