Flora + Fauna + Fashion = Zoobilation!

To celebrate this year’s Zoobilation event, we partnered with the Indianapolis Zoo to shoot some styled portraits on location inside the Zoo. SO. MUCH. FUN!!

Zoobilation is Indy’s largest black tie fundraiser, and needs no introduction especially as it enters into its 31st year of existence. Started in 1986 as a modest fundraiser with a few hundred guests at Herb Simon’s house, it has grown into a sprawling extravaganza that takes over the entire zoo, and sees several thousand people in attendance. The event is such a mainstay of summer-time black tie partying that tickets for this year’s Zoobilation sold out in about 2 hours. There are restaurant booths, bars, multiple stages with musical acts ranging from DJs to rock bands, and some pretty spectacular outfits that we’ve documented over the last couple of years, here and here. It is the only event we’re aware of here in Indy where people intentionally dress to compete with parrots and cheetahs! In a city where people aren’t known for making statements with what they’re wearing, it’s fun to experience an event where attendees are comfortable with going out on the sartorial limb.

Our goal with the styled shoot was to celebrate fashion that was inspired by both the event and the location – we tried to cover all the bases, from dapper to loud, from elegant to sexy. The point is that Zoobilation is a time to push the envelope style-wise, and try something new because no one will be judging…well, that’s not entirely true – a team of PATTERN photographers will be prowling the ground looking for the most eye-catching and standout outfits. You’ve been warned!

In case you’re wondering where the funds raised by this event go, everything goes towards providing food and care of the Zoo’s 1,400+ critters and thousands of plants.

If you’ve not been to the Zoo in the last few years, you will be blown away by how it’s evolved. The most noticeable change you’ll see is the addition of the Bicentennial Pavilion. The impressive open-air space has transformed the street facing part of the zoo grounds, and will serve as a place to host concerts, and other events, as well as provide shelter on days sunny and rainy. The north side of the pavilion will be home to an all-new bird presentation, Magnificent Macaws. Get this: The birds get to fly around freely within the pavilion. Last we heard, they were getting “trained” to not wander too far from home. Apparently, once trained, even though they can technically fly wherever they want, the macaws prefer to stay close to their home. Can’t wait to see this in action in a few weeks!

Photographer Polina Osherov
Photography Assistant Esther Boston
Gaffer Nick Kartes
Wardrobe Stylist Laura Walters (Style Riot)
Wardrobe Assistants Aubrey Smith & Bridget Barbara
Makeup Kathy Moberly
Hair Caroline Clark

Wardrobe provided by Saks Fifth Ave.

A special thank you to Julie McDearmon, Liz Mok & Carla Knapp for all the behind-the-scenes logistics to make this project a success!

And a big, BIG thank you to all our models who patiently endured fittings, hair & makeup, and on-set zhuzhing – Meagan Keen, DJ Lockstar, Kristi Lee, Eamon Zayed, Jennie DeVoe, Michelle Pemberton, Dawn & Scott Pollard, & Tim Littig.

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One reply on “Flora + Fauna + Fashion = Zoobilation!”
  1. Avatarsays: Jennie

    Polina, you are just such a talent! Thank you for making me look fabulous!
    You honestly know how to flatter with your art! Bless you! Jennie DeVoe, xoxo

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