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The Instagram exploring the internet’s over-saturation of fashion imagery

Meet Samantha Diorio, the curator of @hautebasics, @dazedfashion’s Instagram of the week

Sydney-based designer and image enthusiast Samantha Diorio is the creative eye behind @dazedfashion’s Instagram of the week, @hautebasics. Describing her account as an “aggregation and curation of both past and contemporary imagery”, @hautebasics acts as a mood board through which Diorio shares the images she finds visually and emotionally stimulating, as she explores her love of archive fashion and her innate desire to question the way – and speed – in which we see and consume current fashion.

Expect a masterfully curated grid of tonal images – current magazine tears, alternative make-up looks, archival research findings, abstract landscapes, and a whole lot of Balenciaga and Margiela – sourced via internet rabbit holes, unearthed journals and forgotten Vogue Runway reports. When it comes to Diorio’s personal favourites, though, it’s all about Mark Borthwick-lensed Margiela shots and Juergen Teller’s visualisation of Helmut Lang. Follow @samanthadiorio and read on to hear what she has to say about @hautebasics.

Tell us a bit about yourself...

Samantha Diorio: My name is Samantha and I’m an emerging designer and freelance creative/art director from Sydney, Australia. I have a desire to make people feel, to alter their way of seeing and consuming and to challenge the foundations upon which fashion lies.

What made you start the account?

Samantha Diorio: @hautebasics sits alongside my own practice, as a response to over-consumption and the speed surrounding culture and lifestyle, with reference to the consumption of digital information and data. I started this Instagram account not only to curate photography and art, but to comment on the filtration of imagery. We live in such a highly saturated world where consumption of not only images, but all forms of object are being filtered and projected out into the world without a specific purpose. I aim to create a ‘slower’ platform that not only exists to display my own personal work but also to share the voices of other influential creatives, in order to challenge the way we see, consume and filter visual cues and the messages that they hold.

What’s the criteria for a @hautebasics post?

Samantha Diorio: There’s no conscious or deliberate criteria as this account sheds reverence on what challenges me creatively and emotionally at any given moment. It’s a subconscious reflection of my identity, so I find it challenging to describe it on a visual level. At the end of the day, it’s all about the feeling within the image and what resonates to me and my practice.

Tell us about your bio…

Samantha Diorio: Aggregation composes itself around curation; looking at objects, images, anything tangible/intangible through a contemporary lens, aiding it with approaches of slowness, curiosity and empathy as a new approach to sustainable practices. It’s a term I define myself by. It’s not only a methodology, manifesto or identity, but also the birth of my practice as an emerging fashion designer: the way I work, the way I see things and filter things, my responses, my intentions with concepts and design outcomes. They are all grounded through this term. 

Where do you source your content?

Samantha Diorio: Primarily Vogue Runway archives and WGSN, along with other online research, books and archive journals. Where I derive my content varies as it all depends on what I’m working on – whether that be a creative project, designing a range, or collaborating with industry creatives.

What are some of your favourite images you’ve ever posted?

Samantha Diorio: Here, here, here, here, and here

Who are your favourite designers?

Samantha Diorio: Definitely J.W.Anderson and Martin Margiela.

And photographers?

Samantha Diorio: Mark Borthwick’s 90s-00s images, alongside Harley Weir, Juergen Teller and Jamie Hawkesworth. Coco Captain, Masha Mel, Alice Rosati and Alice Schillaci are incredible photographers that I find incredibly inspiring at the moment and would love to collaborate with in the future.

What are your all-time favourite fashion moments?

Samantha Diorio: Merce Cunningham’s ‘Scenario’ performance, late 90s-00s Margiela by Mark Borthwick and all of Juergen Teller’s Helmut Lang imagery – I gravitate to it so much. The late 90s early 00s fashion moments are so other-worldly, nostalgic yet so incredibly grounding for me, I find home in these fashion moments. 

“I started the Instagram account not only to curate photography and art, but to comment on the filtration of imagery. We live in such a highly saturated world” – Samantha Diorio

If @hautebasics was a particular fashion designer, which would it be and why?

Samantha Diorio: Definitely Jonathan Anderson. As a fashion designer, what I share online sheds light into the visual practices and conceptual frameworks I’m interested in. Similarly to Jonathan’s practice, it’s highly interdisciplinary – focusing on clothing, objects, art, sculpture, space and the stillness of these highly-saturated practices and subjects fused, connected and displayed through imagery. He curates images, exhibitions and designs and collaborates with artists and alternative creatives on highly conceptual frameworks that I too find reciprocal in my design practice and extremely aspirational as a designer (@samanthadiorio).

What might people not realise about the pictures you post?

Samantha Diorio: They aren’t just being posted for the sake of sharing ‘content’. They have been researched, and selected because of a certain purpose and energy that I find to be authentic and inspiring at that given moment.

Who do you love to follow on Instagram?

Samantha Diorio: @rarebookparis is at the top of my list.