Tag: instagram

Weekly Words: 28th October 2017

I know that last week I said that I didn’t want to spend too much time focusing on the sexual assault discussion that has permeated pop culture over the past few weeks but we are at a stage where it is impossible to ignore it. The fashion industry was dragged into the Harvey Weinstein scandal last week, when model Cameron Russell started the #myjobshouldnotinclude abuse campaign. From the campaign, changes in the fashion industry are slowly starting to occur. According to the New York Times “New York State Assemblywoman Nily Rozic, a Democrat from Queens, announced she would introduce an amendment to the state’s current anti-discrimination laws. If passed, it would extend certain protection to models, putting designers, photographers and retailers (among others) on notice that they would be liable for abuses experienced on their watch.”. Basically, a legislation would protect the models in the workplace as the current protections in place are clearly not working. Read the full article here for more information on the topic.

“Terry Richardson Banned From Working With Vogue And Other Leading Mags, Leaked Email Shows” – The Telegraph

Lady Gaga shot by Terry Richardson

British newspaper, The Telegraph, got its hands on a leaked email from Conde Nast’s COO and Executive Vice President informing all publications that they were no longer to work with famed photographer Terry Richardson. The move was to be effective immediately, with any work of his that hadn’t gone to print to be killed and any future work to be cancelled. For some context, Terry Richardson is to fashion who Harvey Weinstein is to Hollywood. He is a notoriously creepy photographer who has been accused of sexual assault for almost a decade. However, he has managed to dodge any real scrutiny from the brands and publications that he works with because he has always managed to have an air of credibility due to the big names he has photographed; Terry Richardson has even shot Barack Obama. Although there have been rumors swirling around Richardson’s behavior for years, the rumors never seemed to stick. However, right now we are in an exodus period where anyone who has been sexually assaulted by a public figure is finally getting their voice heard. Since the Telegraph article broke, Valentino and Bulgari have announced that they are no longer working with Richardson (he shot both brand’s recent campaigns). Other brands will surely follow suit, although many don’t have to specifically announce that they are not using him as many haven’t booked him for years. Many of his close collaborators like Carine Roitfeld (whose magazine, CR Fashion Book, frequently features his work) haven’t spoken out. Business of Fashion did a good summary on why the latest moves to block Richardson’s work are “too little, too late”. I agree with what they say because the belated condemnation of Richardson makes it seem like his accuser’s words were thought to be invalid until enough people stepped forward so they couldn’t be ignored. It’s not like the Terry Richardson rumours are anything new, but then again, neither were the Harvey Weinstein ones. Weinstein seems to have been the straw that broke the camel’s back.

“Let’s Face It, Buying Sneakers Has Become Way Too Complicated” – High Snobiety

I enjoyed this article from High Snobiety on sneaker culture. Sneaker culture itself is fascinating to me because I am so far removed from it. I’ve never tried to buy a pair of sneakers because of the hype surrounding them, nor have I ever waited in line for a drop. For that reason, I may not necessarily be the typical High Snobiety reader. This article basically discusses how sneaker culture is broken in a way, because it is all about reselling. People use bots to hijack shoe releases, causing them to sell out almost instantaneously and leaving everyone who actually waited on their computers and tried to shop like a regular person without the merchandise. The internet and online drops was meant to make sneaker culture more inclusive and bring it to an audience who may not live in a large metropolis like New York City. However, as with most things, there’s always people out there who like to ruin it for everyone. Those who use bots often resell their picks online (using Grailed, or similar services) which pushes the cost up, meaning that kid who lives in the Mid-West and wanted to get his hands on a pair of sneakers that originally would’ve paid $120 now has to pay $400. It’s lame. I noticed a similar situation myself one time when I tried to shop at Kith. I thought this was a timely story to tell given the drop of their second installment in the Bergdorf Goodman collaboration (which I love, by the way). It was the Coca-Cola collection which I’d read about online and seen on Emily Oberg’s Instagram. Some of the pieces were actually super cute so I thought I’d log on and buy some. I went on the site at 11am (the minute it dropped), added the styles directly to my basket, and by the time I hit checkout and went to enter my card details I got an error message saying the styles had sold out. I was disappointed and discouraged, and I have yet to try and shop a Kith drop online again, because I really feel like there is no point. Until retailers find a way to beat the bots, the only way regular people can get their hands on the product is to camp out in line. I sure as hell have never wanted any product that badly, but I know plenty of people who do.

“Diet Prada Is The Instagram Account Calling Out Copycat Culture In Fashion” – High Snobiety

I remember following this account on Tumblr back in the day when the #fashun community on the site was at its peak. It has since declined in favor of other social networks like Instagram. Diet Prada, it seems, has successfully made the switch. The premise of Diet Prada is calling out designers for copying one another, in a fun meme-like way. To see that it has hit the mainstream with coverage in various online news sites is so cool to me. We are at a stage in fashion where copying is so common that it can no longer go unnoticed. Brands get called out for their foul play regularly now. Diet Prada is good at creating the memes that go viral and often lead to change. After Gucci copied Dapper Dan, they agreed to fund his business re-opening and featured him in a campaign. What makes Diet Prada stand out from the rest of the fashion accounts on Instagram is the depth of their fashion knowledge. They can find references to collections from decades ago. It is a level of expertise that I hope to possess myself one day. Until then, I can rely on Diet Prada to do the job for me!

 

Instagram and Nudity

How much nudity is too much?

With Instagram, I feel like I have been totally desensitized to nudity yet in recent weeks I have found myself noticing it more and more. It wasn’t something that used to bother me really. I always thought that I don’t have to participate in posting photos like that if I don’t want to, so why should I care? But I have found myself caring and I’m not sure why. I don’t need to be bothered by other people’s photos but for some reason I am.

Take Elsa Hosk as an example – a beautiful model who makes a living posing in her lingerie for Victoria’s Secret. Her work shots are fine. They are selling the underwear. She is doing her job. But her Instagram tells another story. It is full of full nude shots and super sexualized selfies, and every time I look at it I am trying to work out why she posts these things? What is her motivation? She is already one of the most well-known models in America, idolized by girls and wanted by guys, yet she seems to be trying to get more attention online, grow her following, and do it by posting her naked body. I find it a little sad that women’s bodies are still their strongest form of currency. I know that we are supposed to have reached a new wave of feminism where posting your body online under your own terms and reclaiming it back is what women are all about now, but I also can’t help but think that by posting yourself naked and doing so for your own gain (financial or followers) is just playing into the hands of men around the world who continue to think of women as little more than their body.

I have noticed this nude trend trickle all the way down from the real famous (Kardashians & Jenners) to the insta-famous (all of those “models” with 50k+) to regular girls that you and I know in real life. It’s just strange and borderline worrying because I hope that it doesn’t put girls in a position where they feel that posting their body online for likes is the best way to boost their self esteem. Your body should never be more important than your mind. I don’t really care if people want to post themselves naked or with very little clothes as long as there is no ulterior motive behind the post, but if the reason that you’re posting it is for likes (which you use, in turn, to measure your self worth) then there is an issue in my opinion. This is a complex issue which, if handled the wrong way, can veer into slut shaming. I’m all about body positivity and feeling good about yourself, but I’m also all about having a life off of the internet and not using social media for personal gain, whether that be amassing a large amount of followers or using your likes to gain a confidence boost. I don’t intend to single out Elsa Hosk in a negative way in this piece. She is a beautiful woman who seems super sweet, has cool style, and appears to be a nice person with lots of friends and a great relationship. Her Instagram is really pretty which is why I initially followed her. I just got a little bit turned-off when I felt like her posts were just full of nudity in an over-the-top way. And hey, I guess if you’re a VS model you are being paid for your body looking great. At least it sells the lingerie. I just feel conflicted and a little bit confused on this matter and I struggle to articulate my thoughts on it properly.

Weekly Words: April 8th 2017

I’ve had a thought. There’s often so many stories that come out in fashion and so many articles that I read that I’d like to make a comment on but I don’t have enough to say to make an entire post so I don’t discuss it at all. Instead of just ignoring all of these things I decided that I would start a weekly round-up of these things, to be published every Saturday. I’m basically just going to pull content from various sources that I’ve spotted and been inspired by over the previous week and put it all in one post. Hopefully it turns out to be a more concise way to share my thoughts with everybody in a more snappy, easy-to-follow format. Let the series begin!

“The Olsen Twins’ Ex Stylist Tells All” – Refinery29

I actually read this article on Snapchat (and sent it to myself, something that I was unaware you could do?) and thought about it afterwards. I have always loved the Olsen twins, ever since I was a little kid. I watched almost all of their movies and tv shows, read every single one of their books, and followed their fashion careers from the very beginning to the crazy levels of success that they have now reached. Who would’ve believed that child stars could become credible fashion designers?

I particularly liked reading about how their former stylist, Judy Swartz, helped pitch and develop their clothing line with Walmart and hearing about the product development side of things as I am currently taking a class in this area and find the process interesting. I was also shocked to find out that the collections were inspired by designer pieces or vintage books because I think we often think private label brands, especially for stores like Walmart, have no design influence whatsoever. To find out that there was somebody actually pulling together a sophisticated array of references and translating it all into childrenswear was genuinely surprising to me. I also had no idea that the twins wore designer pieces in their movies, like Pucci, Prada, Gucci, and Dolce & Gabbana. It’s worth flicking through the slideshow linked in the Refinery29 article, if not for the words for the images. Throwback MK & Ash is always welcome in my mind.

“Paul Smith’s pink wall is an LA Instagram phenomenon – but is it paying off for Paul Smith?” – Fashionista.com

I’d like to preface this by saying that as a regular Fashionista reader I was keen to find out how their content would change when one of their editors, Dhani Mau, moved to LA as the site was rather NYC-centric. As the West Coast editor, I feel that she has managed to introduce more California-based fashion content to the site in an authentic manner and I really like her articles nowadays.

This article in particular spoke about the infamous pink wall on Melrose that everyone stops and takes a picture with. Countless bloggers and influencers have images on their Instagram in front of it, so much so that it is becoming a tourist attraction with many people either being unaware that it is, in fact, the Paul Smith store or simply not caring. I remember when we drove past in February saying “oh look, it’s the Paul Smith wall from Instagram!”. We kept driving, however. The article goes more into depth about how do these images translate into sales for the store and how does the online engagement and geotagging help the brand. Unsurprisingly so, out of the vast majority of people who stopped to take a photo, only a few went into the store and even less actually made a purchase. Mau found that only 0.17% of the images geotagged with this location were posted by people who actually follow the Paul Smith Instagram account, but many still tagged the account in their final images, perhaps hoping to be spotted. It seems crazy to think an entire article (and a rather lengthy one for Fashionista) could be written about a wall outside a store, yet Mau has managed to do it in a way that didn’t come across as vapid and actually went into great detail with social analytics and comments from the consumers and the brand. I encourage you to read it.

“Porter #20 – Bella Hadid shot by Terry Richardson”

I adore this cover. I don’t like the photographer. Bella actually looks really beautiful, albeit slightly sunburnt, and natural. The cover reminds me of something we would see on the newsstands back in the day of the supers, perhaps like an early Gisele Bundchen, and the background is really beautiful. Porter has caught some flack for using Terry Richardson, and I agree with the comments. I thought most magazines had stopped working with him, never mind giving him cover stories. However, I don’t think the cover image nor the accompanying editorial even looks like his work. It is a different style than we are used to seeing and is much softer and prettier. The editorial images that have been released so far look really good too, with this image from “Ignite the Night” standing out to me.

The Instagram Effect

Instagram has a detrimental effect on my self esteem. It has taken me so long to realise this but now I know it’s true. Seeing beautiful girls every day makes me lose sight of what’s actually important in a person. Because likes on Instagram are all about how pretty/hot someone looks in a photograph, I start to think that being beautiful is important to being successful, because on Instagram that’s true. All of the big accounts are run by hot girls (even if they all look the damn same). People’s lives revolve around likes. In a way it’s hella sad. However, I can feel myself getting sucked into that toxic mindset and I want to make a conscious effort to stop it before I get in too deep.

In real life (offline), beauty is nothing. Or maybe not nothing but beauty is secondary. Realistically, you’re not going to get a job just because you’re beautiful if you’re dumb as hell or have no education or are a really rude person. Your life probably isn’t going to be terrible if you look average because honestly most people look average (hence the word).

💕 @DIORMAKEUP LIP GLOW LOVE !! 💕

A post shared by 🦋 (@bellahadid) on

I often think about this: how often do you see a truly stunning person in real life? I can probably count the number of beautiful women I’ve seen in real life on one hand. It’s very rare. Yes there are a lot of attractive people, pretty people, hot girls, but true beauty is rare. Instagram is odd because it takes these girls and puts them onto one platform and elevates them into your sight. Normally I wouldn’t be exposed to such a high concentration of beautiful people but due to Instagram and the explore page I am. In a way I hate it. Yes it inspires me to try harder, but it also knocks me down. I wonder why I’m not that beautiful or that photogenic. I wonder why I don’t have 1k likes on every selfie I post. I wonder why I don’t look that way when I’m wearing the same clothes. I wonder why I always look slightly awkward or uncomfortable whenever someone takes a photo of me yet these girls are posed as hell and still look good.

As long as I keep a handle on things and realise that Instagram is not real life, that these girls maybe aren’t even as stunning in person (and if they are, good for them!), and that there is more to life than looks. If you derive all of your value and self-worth from your appearance, what do you have when it’s gone? What more is there than that? I am 100% confident in all areas of myself apart from my appearance. I know I’m smart. I know I’m a good person; I’m kind, I’m loyal, I’m actually nice. I’m confident in my abilities yet I still don’t find myself beautiful because to me externally I am not. So that’s why it’s good to step away from Instagram, in my opinion, or at least don’t lose sight of what’s actually important. But as I know all too well myself, it’s easier said than done.