One of Britain’s most enduring legends of rock music has been quoted in interviews saying something close to this: “I don’t care what you say about me on page 96 of your publication, as long as you have my photo on the cover”. He linked his statement to the misquoted Chinese proverb that is often attributed to Confucius – “One picture is worth a thousand words”. The actual maxim is “Hearing something a hundred times isn’t better than seeing it once”. Perhaps this notion, which attests to the overriding potency of visual images in contemporary culture, might have something to do with the allure of Instagram – a social media platform that looks like it is going to stay with us for a long time.
More than any of the other platforms, Instagram makes the world feel smaller and gives a feeling of intimate access into seemingly private lives. Perhaps it will also serve as an important record of our lives and times in the current era, for future generations.
Shrewd operators in the worlds of fashion are using Instagram to plant seeds of creativity and fresh ideas in the minds of consumers. Is it possible that the world of bespoke men’s tailoring might need to take some chances and move beyond the predictable designs that have dominated the culture for so long, as a result of this?
Perhaps the scene is missing the creative energy of maverick talents who can shake things up a little. Where are the Malcolm McLarens and Jean Paul Gaultiers of today?
The use of colour, texture, cut and other devices in interesting ways shouldn’t be preserved for only women. Men should also be given a wide range of options regarding what to wear, especially since we are communicating to each other so much with visual images nowadays.