The question that will come to define our generation is simply, “If you were an Instagram filter, which one would you be?” Even those with the most far-flung hint of a wi-fi signal on their flip phone have developed some sort of opinion on filter options, while their smartphone-using friends are loyal to the one filter that never ceases to disappoint the faint hope that that filter will be the one that makes their photo to the popular page.
In the same way clothing colours our life, we bask in the self-indulgent glory of how our favourite filters make us sparkle like a Cullen in the sun. Call Instagram filters the façade of the new millennium – your wardrobe 2.0. Which leads to the more pressing question, “If you were a filter, which designer would you be paired with?” Because if filters are the new clothing, you’ll want to read on to find out who your photos are wearing.
Amaro, Rise, Valencia:
You’re Hedi Slimane. Subtly ambitious and well intentioned, but something is clearly missing. In the grand scheme of filters, you can’t compare either filter to another that can do the job slightly better – kind of like Raf Simmons. Saint Laurent without the Yves is the perfect analogy.
X-pro II, Lo-fi, Hefe:
You’re Givenchy circa Riccardo Tisci, Joseph Altuzarra and Gareth Pugh. The intensity of your artistic expression is not for the faint of heart. You’ve mastered the art of bringing together light with darkness, complexity with simplicity, religion with politics. In short, you’re (probably) the most interesting person in the world.
Hudson, Walden, Nashville:
You’re Marc Jacobs. My friend, you are detail oriented and beautifully executed, but without your borders, much as Dolce & Gabbana are without their blatant Sicilian-infused prints, you can’t offer much. The predictability of the results you produce is both a safe haven and a curse.
Sierra, Earlybird, Sutro:
You’re Clare Waight Keller of Chloe, Phoebe Philo of Celine and Stella McCartney. Just like all three Brit-in-Paris designers, users of Rise, Sierra and Earlybird are cut from the same cloth. By filtering your photos back to a time you’re far too young to remember personally, you believe the poignant vintage tint sparks a conversation of boldness and fragility, just like your innermost soul. Finally, as one of these users, you’re not inspired by the contemporary hoo-hah that’s allowed anyone to call anything “art.”
You’re Balmain circa Olivier Rousteing and Dean and Dan Caten of Dsquared2. You’re nostalgic about things that hearken back to better times and find modest simplicity striking, but who are we kidding? You like to make things complicated. The photo effects create the illusion of milky skin, but if not for the shadows straight out of Shawshank, you’d think the Brennan filter, like life, would be pretty damn boring. The Brennan filter is the Peter Lindbergh shoot for Vogue in the ‘90s filter – thought-provoking but definitely bankable.
You’re Karl Lagerfeld. You’re unapologetically often impressed and dumbfounded by your own profoundness. In simpler terms: you’re necessary, conventional and overdone. Evidently, you’re also one of those people who take great pride in your aptitude to a use a semicolon properly.
Toaster, 1977, Kelvin:
You’re more or less Donatella Versace. While you’re a practicing testament to the craft of tan skin and goddess gladiators, you’re best admired from afar, because in theory most are left pondering, “Can anyone actually use those filters?” (AKA: “Can anyone actually be a Versace woman?”) In the purest of Instagram philosophy, why travel down the line when Sutro or Nashville can deliver the desired results sans the obnoxiousness?
Is Bebe actually considered a fashionable destination for ready-to-wear clothing? Considering it’s listed among Band of Outsiders and Bottega Veneta on style.com, it must be, which marks its existence as the equivalent to those who post their photos with hashtag no filter. But just like Manny Mashouf’s new direction for Bebe, the normal filter is not half as bad as you might of thought (the key word here being “half”). Because at the end of the day, no one seriously wants to be defined as ‘normal’, or subsequently as a Bebe girl, when photography and fashion can be annihilated in more enhanced ways.