Like any typical Sunday, I was winding down my weekend, laying in bed with a facemask on, scrolling through my Instagram feed. In part to inspire my Summer shopping, in part to keep up with my friends, and in part because well, I was bored. But, as I endlessly thumbed away, I had that eerie sort of deja vu that a top I went to bookmark was one I'd saved before. Flip over to my saved page and I'd been tempted by a something strikingly similar, more than once in fact.
A full-on investigation of my double-tapping habits highlighted the fact that there is a collection of brands that I've been lusting over that all inhabit a certain dreamy escapist-chic aesthetic. The question: was it the clothes I was lusting over? Or was it the wine-drunk French-Riviera lifestyle that the brands seemed to personify. Do I need a dress or did I need a vacation? (or maybe, I need both).
These days, it's not enough for a brand to make cute clothes, Instagram allows designers to cast a wider net of aspiration. Now, it's not just about a floaty wrap dress, it's also about picnics, beach-walks, and a retro sports car too. Personal style and lifestyle are undisputedly connected, and now more than ever fashion presents a full-on escapism. I no longer have to imagine how I'll wear those summery florals, I have photo evidence of how fun life will be when I'm sipping on wine, wearing my new dress.
So, what are a few ingredients in the recipe of a 2018 fashion brand? Drawing on my Instagram bookmarks as a source of inspiration, I rounded up the requirements of an aspirational Instagram brand. You'll find a range of them below, modeled by a few of my favorite brands that have bridged that style-meets-lifestyle space.