Home / Go Medieval: Affordable Fantasy Wear From The Leather Laboratory (NSFW)
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There’s not much demand for chastity belts anymore.

Maybe the Enlightenment was to blame, or the rise of feminism, or advances in locksmithing skills. Whatever the reason, few people today feel the need to secure their virtue beneath those uncomfortable contraptions, which went out of style a thousand years ago.

But that might change with the debut of The Leather Laboratory, a fetish-themed lingerie label from Belfast that blends a distinctive medieval aesthetic with a very modern approach to role-playing fun.

Slave collars, bondage harnesses and studded bustiers are among the products in Leather Lab‘s catalogue, but you’ll also find some dramatic leather cosplay pieces — romanesque gladiator skirts (above), armour-like belts and, gulp, a whimsical chastity belt.

I say “whimsical” because this buckled thong-and-panty device doesn’t come with a key. You can get out of it, of course, but it’ll take some work and maybe an extra pair of hands.

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TLL’s chastity belt comes in a set that includes a “breast sling” harness and collar.

“We had a giggle or two with this one,” Jennifer Snoddy, who co-founded the brand with her husband Will Boyd, told Lingerie Talk. “We were brainstorming new ideas and we thought it would be fun to take this archaic practice and give it a place in our modern collection.

“We wanted to keep it fun and tweak it for the modern age, giving the power back to the wearer. Perhaps the wearer will unbuckle it themselves, or perhaps it’ll stay buckled up all night. Who knows? We wanted to leave that part up to our customers.”

The Leather Laboratory is a dream come true for Jen and Will — best friends for 17 years, childhood sweethearts and professional costume makers who have a combined 8 years experience working in film and TV productions. They launched the brand last month with a shop on online marketplace Etsy.

Their first collection — aptly called Range #1 — is intended to provide a foundation for the brand with an assortment of erotic leather products “for the role-play dabbler and the more seasoned bondage enthusiast,” Jen said.

And while TLL‘s artistic goods might make suitable costumes for your next Spartacus or GOT viewing party, the company knows there’s a much bigger trend in contemporary fashion and culture that will impact their growth.

“The 50 Shades phenomenon is undeniably playing a big part in bringing sexual exploration to the surface,” Jen said. “The 50 Shades effect, if not causing a shift toward more liberal choices, is certainly daring people to be more adventurous. When Anastasia Steele walked into the Red Room, many women out there walked in with her.”

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Indeed, the Leather Laboratory joins a growing list of artisanal labels producing handcrafted accessories that have elevated the reputation of BDSM fashions. Leather artists like Paul Seville, Zana Bayne and Ilya Fleet, supported by erotic retailers like Coco De Mer, Mis en Cage and Pleasurements, have turned bondage gear — once dismissed as a cheesy and even comical underground market — into highly coveted, fashion-forward luxury goods.

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should find plenty of fans among modern fashionistas, medieval re-enacters and other role-playing fanatics, in part because it aims to remain affordable. A handmade studded leather thong, for instance, goes for £77 while more elaborate pieces like the chastity belt or gladiator skirt are just over £100. The most expensive piece in the collection (£160) is the Black Diamond two-tone leather bustier (below), which resembles a medieval breastplate and is worn just under the bustline to provide support and definition.

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“We noticed a large price gap between luxury high-end leather lingerie and the more mass-produced leather fetish accessories. We wanted to bridge the gap and make luxury craftsmanship and designs more accessible for all leather lovers,” Jen said. “Our experience working in costume departments to strict deadlines and to high volumes and standards has become invaluable to our business. It allows us to be able to offer luxury products at affordable prices.”

The company uses luxury Italian vegtan leather and is committed to working only with ethically sourced materials.

The first Leather Lab collection includes bondage “basics” like collars, cuffs and blindfolds, a couple of leather bra creations and some unique looks like a “breast sling” that can be worn like a bondage harness or over a top as part of a fashion ensemble.

“Ideally we imagine our customers playing around with their products and being amazed at how it can flatter the body in so many different ways,” Jen said. “We think many of our products would complement current clothing trends beautifully.¬†Perhaps some of them are better left in the bedroom, but who’s to say?”

Below we have some more images of The Leather Laboratory‘s artistry from their Etsy shop and first campaign lookbook. Everything is made in Belfast and can be shipped internationally.

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CREDITS: Photos by BigBadLlama.

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