As the photo-sharing app cements its status as fashion’s darling, Theresa Harold helps you sort the wheat from the chaff.
Something strange has happened to my Instagram feed. Where before there was a stream of carefully-curated and beautifully shot images, there is now a deluge of blurry snaps. Composition seems to have gone out the window, and every shot is either too bright or too dark.
I am, of course, writing this mid-Fashion Week – New York’s to be precise. Soon, Paris, London and Milan will follow, and it will be a solid month before my Instagram goes back to its restrained and tasteful norm. It’s easy to see why this happens. The formula of fast-paced models, dramatic lighting and bloggers each trying to outrace each other to post that all-important #firstlook inevitably results in sub-par social media.
Let me be clear, I’m by no means doing a ‘Tom Ford’ and advocating a social media ban at fashion shows. Ford’s tweet-free approach of presenting his collection to a small gathering works because, well, he’s Tom Ford. But with the average runway show at New York Fashion Week costing upwards of $200,000, it’s no wonder that brands are eager to milk as much publicity as they can.
The problem is, with every blogger and editor on the Frow, posting looks before the designer has even taken his bow, fashion has lost its inscrutable mystique. It used to be that a runway show ticket was a covetable thing, granting bragging rights to its holder and a first glimpse of clothes that wouldn’t hit the stores for months. Now, every person in the world has an access-all-areas pass right on their screens. Want to see what’s happening backstage at Donna Karan? Just follow @karliekloss. Want to catch the Rodarte collection as it’s happening? Follow @susiebubble. There are thousands of Instagrammers out there, each documenting and commentating on hundreds of fashion shows like a two-bit Suzy Menkes. Some of them, like @derekblasberg and @oscarprgirl are great and well worth a follow. Others seem to specialise in out-of-focus shots taken on a flip phone circa 2009.
In short, be discerning. I remember when Instagram first launched on Android, some iPhone users were so disgusted at the thought of inferior (read: cheap) phones posting to their ‘exclusive’ club that they took to Twitter in droves to voice their complaints. They set up tags like #iPhoneography and #iPhone4S to keep their little club special. Such antics are obviously snobbish and juvenile, but oh, imagine if we could set up a hashtag for decent fashion pics. #nonblurry would be a start. Or something pithy that denotes a photograph that hasn’t already been posted ten times by twenty different users already: #limitededition, maybe?
Call me old-school, but I want fashion to be exclusive, aspirational and polished – all the things that a fuzzy Instagram is not.
The Review’s Top Five Fashion Accounts
The Business of Fashion promises “inspiring content and indispensable fashion”. They don’t half deliver.
Handsome, witty and well-connected – what’s not to like about this guy?
This lady is one hell of a stylish mama. Follow for great outfit inspiration and the biannual trips to Pitti Uomo
Posting from all around the world, this super stylist is fashion’s best kept secret. 21,585 followers can’t be wrong.
The only brand on the list, but Tory’s account is so much more than a plug for her label. She posts an enviable selection of fashion, food and travel snaps.