Strapping in: Should men wear harnesses off the high-fashion runway?
Harness the power
The hotly-contested relationship between women's fashion and their liberation/lack thereof has roiled since the beginning of time; men's feelings about fashion and social status, meanwhile, have never been quite as complicated. Timothée Chalamet's spin on a Louis Vuitton harness at the 2019 Golden Globes went viral on social media, though it hardly spawned as much analysis as, for example, Emily Blunt at the SAGs wearing an innocuous, ruffled pink gown. Bear in mind that Chalamet was wearing a harness: an item literally designed with restraint, though not always of the kinky sort (sadly), as its primary function. We take from this that while heels, shapewear, and even anti-glamour backlash fashion are all lightning rods for second-wave feminist debate — "I can wear stilettos to the supermarket, if I so choose", "Ah, but choosing to do so betrays your psychological imprisonment by the gender binary!" — men can choose to dress like total subs outside of the boudoir and not have their agency or 'morality' come under scrutiny. If that ain't male privilege, y'all...
And, given the freedom to publicly go full BDSM with limited consequences, most men... choose not to. For blokes, liberation in fashion terms runs the narrow gamut from "I did the bare minimum and wore a tie. Praise me!" to "Hi, I'm Adam Sandler, and I attend movie premieres in literal pyjamas." Indeed, expectations for men's attire — as in everything else, lol — are so low that all it takes for something to be become a trend is more than one high-profile wearer. After Michael B. Jordan wore another Vuitton harness to the SAGs, publications scrambled to find more examples of red carpet harnesses and yielded the mother lode: U.S. Olympic skater Adam Rippon in a (very literal) Moschino harness tux, from the 2018 Oscars. Sigh.
The boys' runway, meanwhile, has seen its fair share of cool examples, and not necessarily of the on-the-nose variety. We're not pretending that they'll become de rigueur on the streets anytime soon; the catwalk, after all, is like that one crazy friend who says tons of nutty things, but whom you love dearly and choose to indulge anyway. However, for your totally unsolicited consideration, we've assembled are some of the best arguments for making menswear harnesses the new norm.
Are you on board? Cast your vote below:
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