Some time ago I set out to ensure my social presence was 'sans filler but plus filter'... striving to ensure each photo or blog post was better than the one before it... after all, you're only as good as your last post.
However, trying to 'one-up' myself and working a full-time job in social means when I return home often the last thing I want to look at is a screen let alone Instagram or Twitter. I decided to 'express rather than try to impress'.
Coming from a design background - I spent my Uni years inundated with imagery and references. Sometimes haphazard on a cork board in my room, other times painstakingly hand-cut into a collage in a sketchbook. Around the time I stopped Instagramming pictures of my daily steak dinner or my dog, I thought 'How interesting would it be to subvert the square grid and 3x3 format of the platform we've all grown to love and hate. I thought about colouring outside the lines often, but sticking to a colour palette and my own personal 'Insta-Mantra' was as far as I got when it came to curating my feed.
I'd seen others do it, perfectly overlapping images with handwritten text scrawled overtop, a beautiful fusion of tech and tradition. I was always too nervous to take the leap - what if I ended up somewhere that just HAD to be Instagrammed and it didn't fit my collage?
Thank god for insta-stories, which gave us a chance to play, and live in the moment. Although these too are becoming overly contrived.
I should probably cite Dries Van Noten and Beyonce for finally giving me the courage to embrace the collage.
Dries for his unwavering ability to stand apart from the crowd, reshuffling the familiar. In his hands a single yarn or fabric can unify an entire look of seemingly uncoordinated pieces. The expected becomes the unexpected.
The second constant source of inspiration, who forever lives in my subconscious: Queen Bey. Industry changing surprise albums and performances aside - 2017 saw her elevate Instagram to an art-form, embracing the power of the triptych. Dropping subtle hints and sending messages through clothing all while giving us exactly what we came for: LOOKS.
While the greats listed above surely lead the charge for the latest incarnation of my Instagram - I would be remiss if I didn't thank the 11-hour flight from Shanghai to London for pushing me over the edge. If you've read this far your either my mother (Hi Mom!) or you've slid into my DMs on a weekly basis to ask 'What App do you use for your page?'... the answer is that sleep deprived and wanting to ensure my champagne intake equalled the cost of my Business Class flight from China - I spent the better part of my return flight reacquainting myself with the Adobe Creative Suite. Having worked on textile designs and magazine layouts in a former life - it was a nice trip down memory lane. I emerged from Heathrow with my first ever insta-collage and haven't looked back since...
Just me and Photoshop.
No secret Phone apps, no magic, no easy-route.
A simple grid template AND A curatorial eye...
Sportswear meet sartorial; Floral Anorak - Erdem x H&M, Suit: H&M, Chelsea boots: Frank Wright
Bag: Doc Martens
Photos by: Rowben Lantion