“It started out with skeletons and shapes that were either very literal or very abstract interpretations,” says 23-year-old, Seattle-born accessories designer Zana Bayne of the origin of her Fall 2012 leather collection, shown last night at Chelsea’s CATM Gallery. The pieces—black and white, S&M-inspired harnesses modeled off human vertebrae—were presented as a part of an ink print, photography, and film installation, with contributions from artist friends Char Alfonzo, Maxime Büchi, and Adrian Wilson along with, of course, Bayne herself.
“I’ve always been into off-season presentations,” explains Bayne of the unusual show, “but this time I thought, ‘Why not take it one step further and work with some of my favorite collaborators in the industry?’ I wanted to see how they used my work as the muse for their own. It’s about what leather, bondage, and my accessories can bring to an artwork.”
In the case of Swiss tattoo artist Maxime Büchi, that meant several large-scale, ink-black body prints, each suggesting the shape of the naked male body, save a carefully placed harness. Bayne’s own offering is an intricate, geometric wall hanging crafted from several harnesses. Wlson and Alfonzo, both individuals Bayne has collaborated with in the past, showed fashion photographs—black-and-white, leather accessory-adorned nudes in the case of Wilson and dimly lit studio portraits of “very severe and strong individuals” for Alfonzo. The works are all darkly sexual and fetish-inspired, much like the hard-edged accessories they incorporate.
In addition to the harnesses she’s become known for (Prabal Gurung’s used them in his past two runway collections), Bayne also presented a selection of oversized, handcrafted leather belts. “I think belts are a territory that has been really explored in the past, but isn’t as appreciated right now,” she says. “I’m making belts that work off the body, and emphasize the hourglass shape. I’m sick of wearing flowy dresses—I want to have a waist.”
Zana Bayne’s Fall/Winter 2012 presentation is on view through Friday at CATM Gallery, 500 West 22nd Street.