ZEBRA DAZE
Collage by Monica Brand; Left to Right: via Toni Frissell for Vogue, via Mario Sorrenti for Paris Vogue
 
Black and white is exactly as the phrase implies — clear, strong, direct, to the point — “look at me!” In both photos, the womens’ magnetically monochrome attire and fluid, open poses suggest the life of the party has arrived; commence the fun sequence now. One makes waves, the other goes wild. But the theatrics don’t stop there — bold black and white has always evoked the drama queen, regardless of the decade. During one era (Photo by Toni Frissell for Vogue 1939) a woman accessorized in a turban and sash poses on the beach, while beside her Natasha Poly is bedecked in a zebra cape, foregrounding a not so subtle lingam. Irrepressible superhero gesture on a post-Soviet supermodel. 
 
Blame it on those long summer days being outdoors, when inhibitions and restrictions fall to the floor, but both images conjure the heralding of something new, something brand new and exciting about to occur…even if it’s just the return of fall. Or black and white ensembles. Or simply (graphically so...) possibility.
 
-Jessie Knadler


September 2012


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