Over the last forty years there has been as increasing interweaving of fetish iconography (harnesses, bondage gear, latex/leather/rubber, corsets, “cruel shoes”) into avant-garde and high fashion. Though first touched on by fashion designers as a way of shocking the press and masses, fetish paraphernalia has now become commonplace and part of the fabric of fashion. By charting the slow trickle of fetishism from the shadows onto the runways, it is possible to see the increasing acceptance of sexuality (in even its most so-called “deviant” forms) by the media. The cultural discourse of fetishism and its relationship to fashion is clearly elucidated in the work of fashion historian Valerie Steele, whose books Fashion & Eroticism and Fetish explore fashion as a “symbolic system linked to the expression of sexuality—both sexual behavior (including erotic attraction) and gender identity.” Though the word fetish originally meant a magic charm or “a fabrication, an artifact, a labour of appearances and signs,” the definition was extended by the early 19th century to include anything that was “irrationally worshipped” and by the end of the century to sexual deviations. Fetishism is defined in the Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of the American Psychiatric Association as “recurrent, intense sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges or behaviors involving the use of nonliving objects (e.g. female undergarments)”—while excluding those that fetishize particular body parts, this definition clearly shows the connection between the arousal of lust and specific garments.