Although sex in fashion is a hot topic at the bustling epicentre of the industry at the minute, we cannot afford to disregard its origins that lie in the intricate corsetry and voluminous bustles of the Victorian era. Woman of this period wore rib-breaking Basques that posed genuine health risks and cage-like constructions tucked under layered skirts, all to accentuate and flaunt their feminine form.  Mother nature's work was manipulated into a curvaceous chassis with a miniscule waistline that would provide the idolised template that body-conscious women aspired to for many years to come. Fashion became sexualised decades before teen sensations such as Miley Cyrus and Taylor Momsen discovered leather hotpants and fishnet stockings. You may recall Herm's risqué runway for Spring/Summer 2011.  Towering models like Karlie Kloss storming down the catwalk with pure angst in their eyes toting long, black riding crops. Although Herm did indeed start out life manufacturing horse harnesses, we cannot help but notice the implicit innuendo beneath this aesthetic. Second-skin leather and harness motifs where a signature trend throughout, making for a collection that got haute couture a little hot under the collar. Leather has always been a textile associated with more racy designs and designers going down this route look to 'King of leather', Mitch Alfus for some pearls of wisdom. Alfus owns New York based company, Libra Leather that has been supplying leather to high-end designers, such as Alexander Wang and Michael Kors, since the early 1970s. Alfus managed to reinvent how the fashion industry looked at this fabric with the introduction of distressed leather in the 1980s as well as crinkle and stretch leather, which seduced the 1990s. This trend has entered mainstream consciousness, with fashion forward celebrities taking up the mantle. 'Transformers' sex siren, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley recently had a lust for leather when she attended the film premiere in a raunchy, Marios Schwab, leather LBD featuring a Herm inspired harness. Jennifer Aniston is another celebrity who has dipped into the leather obsession wearing a malleable mini at the photocall for her new film this week. However, despite its superiority in the fetish fashion realm, leather is not the only material that exudes sex appeal and designers this season are including more contemporary textiles in their Autumn/Winter 2011 creations. Sheer fabrics, silk, velvet and lace were all extremely popular on the runways recently composing sultry ensembles that had an aphrodisiac effect on all admirers. Valentin Yudashkin took advantage of the A/W '11 tendency to juxtapose textures with a simple LBD that seduced onlookers with an interesting mix of leather and lace, cotton and Chantilly. Tristan + Trista is a brand owned by Kristine Megrikian who is also the designer of their high-end women's collection that merges elements of masculinity and femininity into elegant cuts with a modern flare - another prevailing trend of A/W '11. Kristine pays extra attention the to the female form when creating her clothes and explains that her inspiration is drawn from 'the romantic, the heroin, the villain and the saint'. The dresses in this collection provide a more wearable, day-to-day look for those who shy away from the harsher, stronger looks of the runway. (Image courtesy of Tristan + Trista) Tristan + Trista got its name from being renowned for merging textures such as soft silk and hard leathers which lends itself perfectly to this season's signature styles. This little black dress from their A/W '11 collection is a beautiful embodiment of this textural paradox and would make for a sumptuous new addition to your LBD wardrobe with it's harnessed waistband and cut-out panels. If you don't want to spend as much as Ms. Whiteley on a high-end LBD then look to more affordable investment pieces such as mid-end lace LBDs that can be a versatile base garment for a variety of different looks. Leather belts, especially those with a nod to bondage or fetish styling, are also a perfect way to replicate the catwalk trend and add Herm's haute couture character to an outfit on a highstreet budget.