For Spring 2017 An Underlying BDSM Mood in Menswear is Out of the Closet and Into the Mainstream
An excess of straps and restricted movement lent an “after dark” S & M feel to many of the Men’s Spring 2017 collections. The trend was most prominent and highly visible at top shows like Dior Homme where models were strapped into harnesses with metal rings glistening on their chests over skinny, pristine suits. At Walter Van Beirendonck, a designer long known for his subversive antics and mischievous humor, suits were accessorized with extra straps tightened around the arms and torso. Louis Vuitton, Marni, Christopher Raeburn, and KTZ also showed similar kinky looks on the runway.
At some shows it was a bit more subtle like at Carlos Campos,who models merely trailed straps as they walked the runway. However, at the London shows many designers went full throttle including Craig Green who sent out a series of all black ensembles that stood out among his quilted and softly colored looks. The all black ensembles signaled Green’s sudden detour to the dark side with an all black urban hoodie pulled tightly around the face, but barely held together at the sleeves with silver grommets. Green’s other looks combined various pieces loosely held together by metal fastenings that showed significant amounts of skin.
Although most designers achieved an almost “office appropriate” BDSM look, others like KTZ fully embraced the darkness. Their lineup featured looks made strictly for clubbing with gimp masks and leather harnesses connected by large metal rings. Similarly, Hood By Air’s spring menswear included leather chaps with straps and belts used to bind down the arms. In Paris, Raf Simons more explicit references featured Robert Mapplethorpe’s homoerotic photographs printed on every garment in his spring collection. Some NSFW prints depicted Mapplethorpe’s self-exploration of fetishes, BDSM, and the erotic power of black leather. For emphasis, Simons finished off many of the looks with long thin belts wound tightly around the neck and worn as chokers.
At his latest show for Moncler Gamme Bleu, Thom Browne artfully bound his models in tension lines and caribiners. Every model in the show had to contend with ropes tied to the inside of each pant leg essentially binding their legs together which forced the models to shuffle down the catwalk. The slight humiliation and concept of being strapped down can be attributed to BDSM bondage.