The public has voted, and the Council Of Fashion Designers of America has given the inaugural Instagrammer of The Year award to self-proclaimed "man about town" Patrick Janelle, otherwise known as @aguynamedpatrick. As part of his prize, he'll be documenting tomorrow's CFDA Fashion Award, and has already collaborated with Thom Browne for the competition.
The council's decision to create an Instagram-specific award to sit alongside its other prestigious prizes is proof of Instagram's growing importance in the industry. Last week, Tom Ford argued that an Instagram snap from Rihanna could prove more influential than a glowing review from a fashion critic. Janelle himself received more than 100,000 likes from the public to clinch the award. So what does fashion's most successful Instagram account look like?
@aguynamedpatrick is basically the most Instagram-my account you can think of: a carefully curated mix of food shots (always shot directly from above), style pictures and the occasional selfie. Janelle's even had a pretty Instagram-my career: the former graphic designer now runs an events company in Manhattan.
Instagram has created an aesthetic of its own – and not just because of its limited filters, or common hashtags. You only need to take one look at Janelle's Instagram stream to know that it conforms to these invisible but tangibly felt aesthetic boundaries that drive and consume the network's users.
It's no surprise that Janelle won this award: his Instagram account is a living embodiment of the Instagram identity, with all the attributes required to attain popularity: an interest in food, a preoccupation with Wes Anderson-lite imagery and – most importantly of all – luxury. While the account probably wouldn't make it on to the Rich Kids Of Instagram Tumblr, everything on it relates a story of comfort, happiness and, crucially, feels attainable.
Looking at @aguynamedpatrick is like looking at an advert for Instagram that's full of "totally awesome vibes": nothing can go wrong here in this utopian gallery, and if it did there'd be no point posting it.
Follow Thomas Gorton on Twitter here @angstromhoot
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