BACKSTAGE AT PRABAL. LEATHER AND CORSETS BY BYRNE.
A young Brooklynite has taken Prabal Gurung over to the dark side. Gurung, renowned for outfitting leading ladies in feminine gowns and ushering in last year's beige moment, turned this season to leather master Zana Bayne to create fetish-inspired accessories. The rising mistress of S&M interpreted corsets according to Gurung's gentle structuralism—leading to the centerpiece of Gurung's show Saturday, which prominently featured Bayne's wicked harnesses softened with delicate silk rope.
"My line really evolved piece by piece," Bayne says about her natural progression from blogger to designer. The 23-year-old used her blog, the fan-favorite Garbage Dress, to document her life, which included her very first DIY harness. "There was an immediate audience there, telling me what they liked and what they didn't," Bayne explains. "I'm really lucky to have been able to document the process so clearly." And though her Gurung capsule collaboration may be the first time her designs have been sent down the runway, it certainly wasn't the first time they'd been publicly debuted. "I've been working with Nicola Formichetti since May... And since Gaga has been wearing my designs, I've been paying closer attention to her outfits, and they all use young, locally sourced designers. That's really exciting to me." The killer head-to-toe harness featured in Gaga's latest, "Yoü And I," is all Bayne—as are the leather goods worn by her back-up dancers.
But with Prabal Gurung, Bayne has taken a more subdued, feminine route. The rope-woven pieces are more corset than harness, lacing up in front and anchoring Gurung's chiffon-heavy collection. A thin, high-waisted belt is subtle with three lashes of rope, and a low-key leather belt stretches over the shoulders. Perhaps her edgy influence is rubbing off on the designer; revealing cut-outs get a transparent layer, white pants are treated in dripping latex, and even a virginal white frock has a shiny, splattered royal purple treatment.
As for her blog, Bayne explains it's still a document of all the stuff she is doing. "When I went to parties, I'd write about lots of parties," she says. "But right now I'm so focused on my work so the blog focuses on my collection." She is, however, about to offer her fans another treat—her fall line, which runs the gamut from chest plates to winged shoulderpieces, debuts today. So perhaps now is the time to invest in some S&M-inspired corsets to add into adventurous closets everywhere.