British artist-designer Patrick Ian Hartley makes what he calls "face corsets," an apt descriptor for what's essentially custom neck art in carefully molded leather, silk, and PVC — a lot of PVC. And you thought 17th-century ruffs were the height of neck art.
Naturally, Lady Gaga is a client, as well as heaps of other musicians looking for something a little exotic to wear in their music videos. Haute magazines, too, are stampeding to Hartley's studio, hunting for that certain something to help their editorials stand out — literally stand out, like the partial exoskeletons you see here. They may look uncomfortable, but stiletto heels probably also looked uncomfortable, before they were everywhere.