I wonder how many more times I can get away with attributing a newfound obsession to Instagram’s “discover” page before it starts to seem like that’s the only place I gather information these days. In my defense, the algorithm seems to know me better than I know myself, to the extent that it serves me things I want before I even know I want them, so of course I keep coming back for more. The potential thrill is not only endless — it’s intelligent.
My latest obsession by way of Instagram is one of the best yet. It surfaced at the top of my discover feed early last week in the form of this (intelligently) planted photo:
I liked everything I saw inside the tiny thumbnail and therefore clicked into it immediately, which is how I found the Instagram account of a brand called SEEN. They had just posted a whole bunch of photos from their Fall/Winter 2018 collection, and I bookmarked each and every one of them with trembling thumbs. There were almost too many wonderfully interesting clothes to process at once: a black suit that looked like a classic silhouette from the front, but was actually backless and tied together with cream-colored bows at the shoulder blades and elbows; a white floor-length puffer coat; a polka-dot crop top and matching trousers; a sweatshirt decorated with a white lace pinafore bib.
What made my jaw drop more than the clothes, though, was the styling. I loved the unexpected banana-yellow accents (sneakers, bike shorts (!), gloves), the kerchiefs and face wash-style headbands adorning the model’s hair, and a beige granny bra worn as a top in a way that looked utterly non-utilitarian. It was so exciting to see things put together in a way I had never observed nor thought of before, and it made my head explode with a million ideas.
There isn’t much information about SEEN online (according to this website, it is a Romanian label), though I did find out that Zendaya recently wore one of their suits. On the brand’s “info” page, there is a short blurb that describes its mission to “reinterpret the commercial dimensions of clothing” with the caveat that “[clothes] are just clothes and we hope you give them that power.”
The emphasis on you is mine, because I think what their mission boils down to is that the clothes, while really really good, are ultimately meant to be a canvas, so whoever is wearing them can paint, i.e. style them in a way that reflects their personality and thus creates a picture of who they want to be and what they want to say on any given day. It’s particularly exciting to me when a collection offers that opportunity, because I’m used to having the picture colored in for me from the outset. It’s delightful to be handed the outline and the materials and be allowed to simply play around. Maybe you’ll look weird, maybe you’ll look fantastic, maybe you’ll look a little of both.
No matter what, you’ll probably have a lot of fun, and that’s exactly what this collection embodies: the fact that serious fashion doesn’t need to take itself too seriously. Sometimes serious fashion involves a pair of banana-yellow bike shorts, and sometimes all it takes to prove that is a scroll through Instagram.
Feature image via SEEN by Dan Beleiu.