“Prim” is not a word that typically comes to mind when describing Debbie Harry’s youthful style. Statement tees, legs bared to there, and Stephen Sprouse’s '80s neons prints are more like it! So when I came across this shot of the provocative new wave–pop icon from 1978 wearing a long-sleeved dress to the knee that my mother might have worn, I was intrigued.
I love everything about this. The contrast of her sexy Kewpie doll face and platinum bed-head hair with the demure belted chemise is downright alluring. This is a trick that’s many a fashion stylist’s secret weapon: Offset a ladylike outfit with hair and makeup that appear a little messy and undone—or tame an outrageous fashion statement with a more polished face and hairstyle. The juxtaposition creates instant visual interest!
But what makes a performance or a fashion photograph fascinating doesn’t always translate well to real life. Do you really want to create a stir or do you want to send a clear message. The choice is yours.