What started as an incredibly niche label of handmade leather harnesses has steadily grown, cutting off sliver after sliver of new pies over the last few years.“The interesting thing is I’m usually collaborating for other designers collections,” said designer Zana Bayne right after her MADE presentation at Milk. “I’ve worked with Prabal Gurung for five seasons, I did Sally LaPointe and Victoria’s Secret… it’s always been that I add something to them. This season it was a great opportunity for me to take people who I love and respect and wear, and have them integrate what they do into my vision.”
And that vision was one of “Moonbathers.” Looking to night imagery having to do with moonlight glimmering across a body of water — a darkness befitting a brand rooted in leather harnesses — the designer sent out looks focused on using her leather accessories as apparel. “It’s an accessories-based collection,” Bayne clarified. “Our goal is to blur the lines between accessories and clothing, so we’re always going to push the leather a little bit further.”
For those maybe not so into wearing what amounted to a leather link pencil skirt or dress of the same as either accessory or apparel, the designer had around four new handbag styles for them. This enlarging of her handbag offerings (a slicing of a different pie if you will) consisted of a boxy tote that flitted down the runway, and a leather “Bondage Beach Bag.” Small metal accents on the harnesses and even some of the bags were the work of jeweler Chris Habana.
“Zana is always super focused,” Habana said of the collaboration, having also worked with Prabal Gurung, Nicola Formichetti and Hood by Air in the past. "After I saw everything was circled around moons and stars, we did a few things like that and then we started to do the hands and it all came together.” Those moons turned up sometimes on belts and other times on one of the boxier bag designs while the hand seemed to do double duty as clasps on the brand’s bread and butter harness styles. And while, yes, there were a few moments that seemed aimed at the cameras — the baby held on a hip that closed the show was one of those — the designer clearly has something to say in the fashion conversation.
And as for the men’s line she just debuted and it’s absence from the runway: “I feel like it’s a separate collection and the themes that I worked on for my runway shows really go into the female silhouette — the hourglass, the fantasy and the silhouette. I’ll still do my men’s line, and I love it but I just didn’t think it was a fit."