In an age of over-consumption and frivolous fast fashion, it’s exceedingly rare for a designer ascend to “cult” status. The fashion industry has seen its fair share of talents and trends come and go and fast fashion seems more fleeting than ever. Amidst this reality, a handful of usually low-profile and illusive designers have curated a loyal following, able to move beyond the fashion status-quo to achieve “cult” status. Whether it’s Phoebe Philo’s feminist-focused Céline or Comme des Garçons’ clever silhouettes, it seems that a certain sect of designers have garnered what seems like an online community of devotees exchanging thoughts, praise, and ideas on their favorite designers.
Much of this obsession has been spurred by eager fashion archivists and the social media savvy Gen Z audience able to navigate the digital space better than anyone. Similar to fanatical Reddit threads, nostalgic MySpace groups, and of course aesthetic Tumblr pages, these Instagram accounts provide an artfully curated safe-space for super fans and fashion lovers alike. Never-before seen archival images, exciting new campaigns, and aesthetically pleasing content culminate in a fashion heaven that will have you scrolling endlessly.
A brand usually achieves “cult” status through a signature accessory, color palette, or silhouette that captures fashion onlooker’s attention. For John Galliano’s Dior, the beloved saddle bag lays out a distinct brand DNA, while Daniel Lee’s intricate cassette bag at Bottega Veneta marks a new path for the Italian house. For some, it may even be their departure at the helm of a brand that spurs this cult-obsession- see Phoebe Philo’s dramatic exit from Céline and John Galliano’s sudden withdrawal from Dior.
Although we can try to pinpoint a certain phenomena or essence that creates these lauded brands, we may never be able to explain why fashion lovers latch onto some more than others. Here, CR looks at some of our favorite cult-Instagrams that are a must-follow for a historically inclusive and aesthetically pleasing feed.
“If it wasn’t by Tom Ford, was it even Gucci?” To this treasure trove of an Instagram, the answer is obviously, no.
Filled with some of Ford’s most risqué moments from his time at the helm of the house, the page is unrivaled in documenting the slick and sexy Gucci we all love. Above anything else, the nostalgically captivating account expertly captures the “porn-chic” that was Ford’s Gucci: irreverent campaigns, provocative editorials, and fierce runway moments– the spirit of a true fashion legend. Catch Kate Moss strutting down the runway in a sheer, body-con dress and even some of the iconic styling from Carine herself.
When it was announced that Celine and Balenciaga alum Daniel Lee was taking the reins at Bottega Veneta, the fashion world was eagerly optimistic for a new voice to revitalize the Italian brand. Since his appointment, Lee has ushered in a new era of minimal brilliance, successfully elevating the Italian house to It-brand status. Newbottega expertly combines Lee’s new vision for the brand with an Instagram aesthetic that will leave you booking your next trip to Paris and the Italian countryside. Throughout the page, you will find some of Lee’s delicious accessories as well as stunning Parisian sunsets and relaxing sceneries that capture the elegant energy of Lee’s “New Bottega.”
Phoebe Philo’s female-focused Céline developed a notoriously loyal following that still lust after her tailored brilliance and intricate styling to this day. When it was announced that Philo would be leaving Céline, the fashion world seemed to go into a state of mourning. When current Creative Director Hedi Slimane removed the accented é from Céline, Philo loyalists came to her defense across social media and elsewhere, making the case for the Celine that they know and love.
With a bevy of Philo’s work at Céline and Chloé, Phoebephilodiary captures why Philo is so beloved in the fashion industry- her timeless pieces offer a fresh vision to the male-dominated industry. In addition to documenting some of the best Philo-era bags and shouting out the anointed successor to Philo’s minimalism, Daniel Lee, the account is eagerly awaiting the British designer’s long-rumoured return to fashion.
Documenting one of the most “cult” like and sought-after brands, @cdgarchive is a hotbed for fashion enthusiasts looking for their daily dose of Rei Kawakubo infused excellence. With snapshots from ‘90s magazine spreads and striking editorials, the artfully curated Instagram nails the “if you know, you know” attitude when it comes to being a CDG stan.
From the groundbreaking Fall/Winter 2008 “Horn of Plenty” runway show to the British designer’s innovative work at Givenchy, this archival account is the go-to place for everything Lee McQueen. Curated by fashion historian and writer John Matheson, McQueen Vault boasts an extensive research based approach to the cult Instagram sphere. With a dedicated following and an impressive visual repertoire, there is no better place to relive the innovative brilliance of Alexander McQueen.
John Galliano’s extensive career has seen him take over at Givenchy, Dior, and now Maison Margiela. @Gallianoarchive captures the designer’s whimsical storytelling and unique innovation that will leave you with serious fashion envy. With Galliano’s take on the “New Look” and his work with muses such as Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss, @gallianoarchive is unmatched in its storytelling of the designer’s illustrious career.END
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