It’s hard to broach the subject of BDSM these days without bringing up Fifty Shades of Grey
. British author EL James’s provocative trilogy has sold more than 40 million copies worldwide, brought kink into mainstream consciousness and titillation to a readership usually content with Harlequin romance. No surprise then, the series will serve as a reference point in Northbound Leather’s 16th annual fetish fashion show.
“The women at my gym were going on and on about how salacious it was,” laughs show producer Carolyn Kelly. “When I eventually read it, I realized if they thought it qualified as salacious, I probably shouldn’t introduce them to any of my friends. It’s not as hardcore as most kink enthusiasts would get, but everyone needs to start somewhere. It’s valuable because it enables couples to open a conversation about these things. If someone is putting it on paper it makes it easier for people to actually say it out loud.”
Though not originally included in the show’s concept, Kelly incorporated hints of the novel after it blew up bestseller lists around the world (possibly aiding sales of fetish gear, as well). Titled Dream, the show opens with Boylesque TO
favourite Dew Lily as a shy young man wandering around a bookstore.
"It all boils down to sex," says fashion show producer Carolyn Kelly.
Each book he picks up inspires different fantasies, which the show’s models bring to life. Made from leather, rubber, latex and chainmail, mixed with a handful of softer materials, each item in the one-of-a-kind collection will be available for purchase at Northbound Leather after the event. As far as providing details on specific garments, Kelly is tightlipped. But the desired effect is clear.
“It all boils down to sex,” she says. “It’s about finding different ways to get people riled up so they go home after and fuck. We like to think it makes a great date night. Get a babysitter and come on down.”
The collection was meant to mark a turning point for Northbound Leather. John Giaouris (son of owners George and Anna) was originally slated to design the clothes. But when he died unexpectedly in his sleep at age 21 last April, Kelly and Matt Coccia (aka Katinka Kouture) were tasked with finishing the collection.
“The show will have some sad moments for the people who knew John,” Kelly says. “It will open with the designs he finished right before he died. He was just starting to make a name for himself in the fashion world, and so it’s also a tribute to this amazing light we all lost.”
Though fashion forms the core attraction, the event doesn’t stop there. Once the models finish strutting their stuff, the space converts to an all-night dance party, with a strict fetish dress code in effect, of course. Though it may involve strategic wardrobe planning for those lacking a closet full of PVC, Kelly stresses it’s an environment where everyone should feel welcome.
“The kink community is all about consent, so you never have to worry about being forced to do something you don’t want to do,” she says. “If something turns you on, you find someone else who’s into it. Maybe you’re a banker who likes to wear a harness under your suit. Maybe you’re a super-macho muscle guy who wants to wear a leather dress. If you’re not content to limit yourself to conventional missionary-style sex, chances are you’re one of us. Whatever your sexuality, your gender, your identity or your kink, if you’re willing to come to this space without judgment, there’s a place here for you.”
Sat, Oct 13, 9pm
11 Polson St
Strict fetish dress code enforced
Shuttle service from pre-party at Woody’s
467 Church St