I had such a clear vision of how I wanted these photos to turn out. But, as is so often the case, my vision and reality did not align. And for what might be the first time ever, I’m actually glad.
This dress has been infuriating me since I first spotted it on the Zara website last summer. The cut was perfect, but the colour – a dusty blush that seems to look more brown than pink until I put it on, when suddenly it is overwhelmingly rose-toned – was less than ideal. I waited months for a black version to be released. It never happened. When the dress went on super sale at Christmas, I caved – after all, it was a quarter of the original price. How bad could it be? Well, let me tell you; not only is it pink, the front of the top gapes open so widely that pinning it almost seems futile. Basically, from a practical standpoint, it’s unwearable.
But, every few months, I pull it out, anyway, naively hopeful all over again. That’s what happened on the day we snapped these photos. The dress, not surprisingly, still looks pink on me. And it still stubbornly refuses to stay closed.
Not to be discouraged, I decided we would still photograph it on the particular morning these shots were taken. It will come as no surprise that I didn’t love the resulting snapshots. But rather than throwing them away in a fit of pique, I stopped, for once, to wonder if I could find a way to love them. It took a few days, a lot of different edits and (more than) a few glasses of wine, but eventually the realisation came to me –
Make them black and white.
My love of black and white photography goes back to childhood. I remember the first time I saw a TV show temporarily switch to black and white as part of a storyline because I didn’t want the colour to come back. The black and white was so stark, but so subtle all at the same time. Apparently, I’ve always been a minimalist at heart – although if you’d seen my wardrobe a decade ago, you’d never have believed that.
And yet, despite my love of black and white images, it’s incredibly rare that I experiment with the style myself. For years, I’ve been so focussed on consistency that I’ve let myself lose sight of invigorating it can be to break out of your own box, even if only temporarily. This year, I wanted to let all of that go and just enjoy myself – because if you’re not having fun, no matter what you’re doing, what’s the point? (After all, the likelihood of any part of our lives being much more than a big cosmic accident is pretty slim – and the fact that a big cosmic accident like humanity could happen is pretty cool, so I feel like we should just embrace the joy of being wherever we can.)
So here I am, in black and white.
(The dress is still a disaster. But I do like it better in a neutral shade.)
#aritzia #zara #lechateau #rayban