The mask of desire

Fashion is, for many, a fetish. A construct of objects of desire. It’s a natural fit, then, for the desire for fashion to be projected onto traditional notions of sexual fetish. It’s why that little hint of the taboo, of the creeping desire that pushes the boundaries of like and lust, carries on as an undercurrent, a sub-plot, of every season. In this shoot for Fasionising.com, Kelly Defina handles that sub-plot with delicacy. There are no whips or shibari ropes, no stiletto digging into flesh like a pin about to pierce a balloon. Instead it’s about the subtlety of desire. The literal mask as symbolism for the figurative, the thing we hide behind when we want to keep our innermost thoughts from the world. Or perhaps when we’re simply unsure of what we want.

la femme masquerade by kelly defina

Click the thumbnails for full pictures:
LA FEMME MASQUERADE for Fashionising.com by Kelly Defina
LA FEMME MASQUERADE for Fashionising.com by Kelly Defina
LA FEMME MASQUERADE for Fashionising.com by Kelly Defina
LA FEMME MASQUERADE for Fashionising.com by Kelly Defina
LA FEMME MASQUERADE for Fashionising.com by Kelly Defina
LA FEMME MASQUERADE for Fashionising.com by Kelly Defina
LA FEMME MASQUERADE for Fashionising.com by Kelly Defina
LA FEMME MASQUERADE for Fashionising.com by Kelly Defina
LA FEMME MASQUERADE for Fashionising.com by Kelly Defina
LA FEMME MASQUERADE for Fashionising.com by Kelly Defina
LA FEMME MASQUERADE for Fashionising.com by Kelly Defina
LA FEMME MASQUERADE for Fashionising.com by Kelly Defina
LA FEMME MASQUERADE for Fashionising.com by Kelly Defina
LA FEMME MASQUERADE for Fashionising.com by Kelly Defina
LA FEMME MASQUERADE for Fashionising.com by Kelly Defina
LA FEMME MASQUERADE for Fashionising.com by Kelly Defina
LA FEMME MASQUERADE for Fashionising.com by Kelly Defina
LA FEMME MASQUERADE for Fashionising.com by Kelly Defina
LA FEMME MASQUERADE for Fashionising.com by Kelly Defina
LA FEMME MASQUERADE for Fashionising.com by Kelly Defina
LA FEMME MASQUERADE for Fashionising.com by Kelly Defina
LA FEMME MASQUERADE for Fashionising.com by Kelly Defina

By the end of Defina’s shoot the dominated becomes the dominant and the masks come off. But not before Mercy Watson’s styling explores contrasts of masculine and feminine, with that hint of fetishism glowing through in Givenchy’s studded leather, Balenciaga’s metal-tipped collars, Fleet Ilya’s armour-like leather accessories and Dianne Von Furstenberg’s androgynous suiting.

With hair and makeup by David Cranson, and starring models Natascha Verkaik and Millie at The Agency, it’s a shoot worth indulging in full. You can view it all by clicking on the thumbnails above.

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Some people's wardrobes are about a small selection of pieces that all fit within one aesthetic - Tania Braukamper isn't such a person. With a wardrobe that spans three different rooms, her approach to fashion is a mixture of current-season key pieces mixed with vintage finds she's sourced on innumerous shopping trips around the world's more cultured capitals. Despite a disparate approach to shopping, Tania is adamant that the key to mixing vintage with new season is to stick to key looks and colours that work for oneself. And it's a theory that she works into her writing for Fashionising.com, where she serves as the publication's Editor.