All these cool threads I didn't even know about keep getting bumped (smiling)
Since no one brought it up, I thought I'd write some thoughts on a fetish of mine and how its closely linked with the same reasons I like fashion. That fetish is Shibari, or japanese rope bondage, and as I've been learning it, I appreciate more and more the aesthetic and skill required in mastering it.
First off, the designs one can make with rope and the human body are just so varied and beautiful. There are many different styles, from traditional japanese forms, to more modern western ones. Forms that highlight simplicity and others that use decorative and complicated knots as centerpieces. When I was first learning I wanted to impress with complex and involved ties, but much prefer clean and minimal lines now. For a fashion designer and a rigger, the human body is a canvas, and you can choose to highlight parts of its form, or twist it into any manner of shapes.
The rope itself can be beautiful, being varied in material, texture, size and colour. Traditionally, un-dyed hemp is used, but the range of options is huge. Synthetic braids in complimentary neon colours, thin white silk for delicate parts of the body like fingers and toes, jute for another traditional look, cotton clothesline for that made in America workwear jizz, and even stuff like sisal or coconut husk if you're a true sadist/masochist.
Besides aesthetics, there is a relationship you build with your rope similar to the one you can build with your clothes. First you may research and experiment with different kinds of cordage, and if you find something you love (especially in a natural fiber), you may then take it upon yourself to properly wash, condition, dye, and store that favourite rope of yours.
Synthetic rope may be machined washed, but most natural fibers need to be hand washed. Oils and conditioners (whether they come from someone's skin or a bottle) are good for natural fibers, and will soften and change a rope over time, making it more personal. Natural fibers need to breathe, and hanging your rope is preferable to storing it in a drawer or bag. You can also make your own rope, dye your own rope, and finish the ends in many different ways.
Lastly shibari, like anything else, is whatever you want to make out of it. It can be sensual, loving and nurturing, or as dark and edgy as you and your partner like. There is no prescribed box. Its all about having fun and exploring something new with someone else.
Any of this sound familiar to how we approach clothes? Guess I'm trying to say I take pleasure in both for similar reasons, although one involves considerably more sex (and it needn't even be about that all the time).
Its also just fun to make someone you love squirm a little ;)
To see rope as fashion, check this site out: