Bondage: Seductive Decoration

Bondage mania seems to have invaded all fields of design recently: lamps, vases and accessories are taking cues from Japanese bondage, with intricate laces tying up porcelain and glass, knots and strings becoming design elements. And the transition from sexual practice to curious aesthetic feature appears strangely natural.

Danish artist Steen Ipsen has become one of the most renowned ceramists of his country, famous for his signature style of sculptures that look blown and then tied. Aptly named Tied Up, his collection includes shiny porcelain strapped with contrasting colored rope, appearing organic but at the same time extravagant and sensual. “I seek a complex and decorative expression that is kaleidoscopic, overwhelming and has lush visual and tactile appeal,” he explains. Ipsen’s powerful abstract pieces capture the viewers and play with their imagination and desire. “I want the objects to tease the viewer, and provoke them to examine the sculptural complexity created by a diversity of molecular forms tied up with strings. The potency of the objects is underlined by the strings.”

Polish designer Justyna Piotrowicz created LED lamps using a similar system. A glass shell is held in place by leather straps, creating bubbles of milky glass, through which shines a string of LED dots. “The physicality of light and organic material becomes the most important part of this project,” explains the Copenhagen Danish Design School graduate, who worked with glassmaker Charlie Meaker to create the blown glass shapes. “I use my hands to manipulate the materials. I play with the electrical parts the same way I do with glass. This ‘human made’ aspect is crucial to the project,” she adds. And the fact that her lamps are low-energy adds a now extremely sought-after environmentally-conscious factor to her intricate designs.

Like rope artists, both designers make the hard materials become organic, in an effort to make the viewer become part of their shaping and molding processes.

Ties and knots are also used by Dutch duo Judith van den Boom and Sharon Geschiere. They recently presented the “Knot,” a product of a brainstorming session that, “experiments with the fluidity of rubber tubes, and creates different forms.” The outcome is rather playful and the intriguing form of the vases makes them look like soft rubber instead of glazed porcelain.

Sex also becomes a subtle feature in Michel Perrin’s designs. As the fourth generation of his family’s fashion house Perrin Paris, Perrin is taking the luxury brand to the next level with modern design and a fresh take on his family’s classics. A great example of his work is the Spider collection of gloves: leather straps gently embrace the hands, and while practicality is non-existent, the effect is deliciously malicious.

– Rosa Maria Bertoli

Luminaire lamp by Justyna Piotrowicz
Ceramics by Steen Ipsen

THE FALL FASHION ISSUE

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