Single or multicolor, vertical or horizontal – stripes of all types and combinations cross the streets and walk the runways with a real dazzle of bold lines and contrasting colors that dizzy yet draw the astonished eye. Among all of them, zebra stripes strike with a transfixing color duet that performs a mind-blowing act of pure sophistication and refined elegance spiced with a dash of exotic vibe.
White with black stripes or black with white stripes? This age-old question still confuses even zoologists. Some claim that zebras are white with black stripes because their underbellies are white, but when shaved, the zebras have dark skin underneath. So which is it? The embryological evidence shows that zebra’s background color is black and the white stripes are the result of selective pigmentation, or rather the lack of it.
Zebra’s signature stripes are unique to each animal, therefore work like distinctive markings by which zebras may recognize one another. Zebras herding together in a savanna create a motion dazzle that puzzles even the most attentive eye of the predator: a perfect camouflage that makes animals blend together so that the individual figure is almost impossible to discern.
However, wearing zebra outfit in a city is a totally different story that needs to be told.
It starts with this Diane von Fürstenberg Sutra Zebra Patchwork Leather Hobo bag.
The extravagant stitched smooth and exotic-textured leather blends into the exceptional zebra design that captures the eye drawing it to the lavish signature DVF lips and golden oval ring clasp. Beautifully shaped with roomy interior, detachable buckled strap, tubular handle and exterior magnetic back pocket, this handbag transitions effortlessly from the evening glam to the daily escapade. The remarkable patchwork is however one of the headline features of this stunning beauty.
The patchwork history goes back to the Egyptians tombs and China about 5000 years ago then in the Middle Ages, quilted fabrics were used in the armor to keep the soldiers warm. Later, bed quilts appear in the European households where they are more decorative to be finally brought to America by the Pilgrims where “Quilt Art “became established.
Although patchwork is most common in quilts, it has become extremely popular in making garments and bags where it is often combined with embroidery and other types of needlework. Lace and leather or silk, leather and fur or denim patched-pieces are craftily stitched together to create a real oeuvre d’art straight from the Museum of Modern Art collection. The only difference is that you can actually wear or carry it.
So, I am carrying my personal DVF patchwork piece of art around Philadelphia streets, wearing Dressbarn Zebra Print dress (similar, similar), JCPenny belt (similar, similar) and G by Guess Hallow White Multi Satin heels.
My destination? The Rodin Museum nestled on the famous Benjamin Franklin Parkway – des Champs-Élysées of Philadelphia. With its splendid garden and Beaux-Arts-style building, the museum is one of the icons of the city and houses the largest collection of Rodin’s work outside Paris. The museum entry courtyard itself is an enchanting site with The Thinker – one of the most famous sculptures by Rodin – sitting there and…thinking. Originally named Le Poète and inspired, as some believe, by master Dante Alighieri, the statue represents poetry and intellect.
“Heaven wheels above you, displaying to you her eternal glories, and still your eyes are on the ground.” Dante Alighieri
Maybe The Thinker’s eyes were on the ground but mine where all around, admiring the beauty of the place. Dante said, “Beauty awakens the soul to act” and I felt inspiration arise while walking around the museum, and even the light and shadow joined the magic of the moment adding to the black and white graphics of my ensemble.
Talking outfit: this fit-and-flare dress is both, elegant and very feminine. Satin-like fabric delivers a beautiful shine to the bold, graphic print that interweaves with the zebra handbag creating an irresistible optical dazzle. You may wear it to the office but be ready to distract your colleague’s attention. Pair it with some sexy heels and you will be a walking sensation.
I matched it with these daring zebra heels that have it all: height, comfort and glam. The satin zebra print and purple suede make for a captivating combination. The graphic pattern couples perfectly with the zebra dress and the bag, and the purple straps add a marvelous pop of color to the black and white look. So does the belt.
To spotlight the zebra dazzle even more, I picked the Style & Co collar, earring and bracelet set (similar necklace, similar earrings, similar bracelet) featuring the textured zebra pattern overlaying the silver-tone surface that shines in the shimmering light of the setting sun. The silver-tone ring (Avon, similar, similar) with the rectangular crystal stone adds the sparkle to the luminous spectacle. With its poetry of black and shiny lines of crystals, the other ring (Style & Co, similar) marries the dazzling zebra to live happily ever after in this graphic story.
The Michael Kors Slim Runway Pavé Silver-Tone Zebra watch is the last but not least standout dazzle of this look. Pavé-encrusted, glistering dial and lustrous bezel rhyme to the allegory of glamour and sophistication. The exotic zebra on the dial aligns beautifully with the rest of the black and white stripes of the outfit creating a visually engaging poem.
“The customs and fashions of men change like leaves on the bough, some of which go and others come”.
Dante Alighieri was certainly right about that. Stripes and animal-inspired patterns are these timeless trends that returned on runways and window displays each season this year. Will they be still en vogue in 2015? As the latest spring/summer collections show, we will welcome animal motifs again. But, instead of classic wild prints, we may see more of scorpions, jelly fish, seahorses, chameleons and crabs. So, get ready for a new wildlife adventure in your closet!