Instagram is still the place to go to share acai bowls, sultry self-portraits, holiday updates and fitness routines. But for me, I get my cheap thrill from happening upon a new brand during my nightly scroll. Just call me Napoleon O'Donoghue from now on as I discover my way through the seven seas of Instagram profiles the world-over (from right here at my desk). For the fashion-inclined, Instagram is a goldmine waiting to be unearthed. What are the ingredients to the perfect outfit? What does a fashion show look like from the front row? How many influencers does it take to make a brand go viral? Here, nothing is off limits, which is one of the reasons why Instagram has the potential to be as inspiring as retail sites like Asos and even the luxury online market like Net-a-porter. There's no right or wrong style, trend or colour combination, but a bountiful supply of inspiration that will inevitably make you want to step outside of your comfort zone. It really is the adrenaline rush that keeps on giving.
If you're tired of coming across random photos of crystal healing rocks(?) and bread, shaped to look like dogs(??) then maybe your discover-o-meter needs realignment. Here are three of my favourite brands on Instagram right now.
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If you're looking for an instant happy hit, you'll get it at @susan_alexandra. Bag and jewellery designer Susan Alexandra is a big deal across the pond and it's only a matter of time before she hits Europe and the rest of the world head-on. Born and raised in the midwest of America, Susan has done what most designer's only dream of doing: harnessing and tapping into the special nostalgic feeling we all love to grasp onto through fashion; it's that happy-in-your-head-and-heart kind of feeling. Her playful designs strike a balance between kitsch and chic, and I could totally see myself arriving at a meeting, pen and notepad in one arm and beaded arm candy in the other. Also, berry granola parfait is a LEWK and the perfect neck accoutrement.
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Lisa Says Gah has struck aesthetic gold. This independent boutique and blog connects cool women (you) with brands that matter most from around the world. It works similar to Asos, except its mission is to highlight female designers who also use ethical production methods. Given we're all more conscious than ever about how and where our favourite garments are made, knowing that every piece available comes with good juju makes shopping even more enjoyable. I don't own anything yet, but I have a life-long affinity to this rose-coloured linen dress that I'm dying to wear paired with a soft turtle-neck for winter, and the below sandals for summer.
Topanga midi dress in rose linen, €147.96 at lisasaysgah.com
We've only just begun the dark journey into the deep realms of winter, but my body is aching for mango-flavoured cocktails and pina colada's by a tropical beach somewhere. But luckily, Elina Linardaki's fruit-cocktail, artisanal leather sandals have already taken me there. The namesake brand is one of the most distinctive (and fruitful) brands I've come across in a while and it's really holding its own among the swathe of footwear brands out there in the macrocosm. The website doesn't have too much in the way of choice, but each shoe is handmade and embellished using real pearls and shells (not real fruit, thank God). And you can really appreciate the time taken to construct these decadent beauties. This is feel-good footwear.
Cubanita, €240 at Elinalinardaki.com