The Guardian recently published an interesting article on an expanding trend among fashion designers to use Instagram as a kind of visual Twitter. Or rather, a way of rapidly accessing the freshest information on fashion for the purposes of design research:
“This year, style blogger Susie Lau started noticing images from her Instagram pinned up as inspiration on designers’ mood boards. She wasn’t surprised. She started Style Bubble in 2006 to publish her fashion photos, but since Instagram launched, her followers no longer have to visit her blog to see the pictures. The photos come to them. ‘For an industry that has a very short attention span and undergoes changes every day,’ she says, ‘it’s perfect for capturing people’s attention for a split second.'”
Also included at the bottom of the article are a series of some particularly good Instagram fashion feeds to follow.
While, of course, nothing will ever substitute for going out and photographing things yourself, there is an element of randomness to the imagery in these Instagram accounts which can go some way towards helping bring back “happy accidents” into Internet-based design research.
It also makes for the first genuinely useful application I’ve seen to date for Instagram.