Social media, that seemingly bottomless fountain of billions and billions of images, videos, and (sometimes scathing) commentary, is often credited for Gen X's internet-fueled ADD, so for fashion lovers, brands, and publications using social apps, whiplash comes with the territory. Therefore, it could be surprising to some that Instagram’s Head of Fashion Partnerships, Eva Chen, admitted at an Instagram conference in London on Wednesday that she actually uses the social media app to slow things down — at least when it comes to runway videos.
Chen, who posts plenty of runway videos to her personal account from her front-row perch at shows in NYC, London, Milan and Paris, does seem to have a slow-mo M.O. Most of her mini-films start off with a model strutting down a runway, serving up her best Naomi Campbell walk, and then Chen slows down the footage, allowing the movement of tassels, the floating of hemlines, or the bouncing of perfectly coiffed curls do the talking. It not only highlights the beautiful movement of the clothing, but it also shows how important a model's walk can be.
One of Chen's favorite moments, she reminisces at the conference, was when Gigi Hadid walked the Tommy Hilfiger show in NYC wearing a crocheted bikini, pictured below.
She's also posted some pretty dope vids at Paris, like this one of Lindsey Wixson at Balmain, which I have to admit is pretty hypnotizing:
Another user posted this really cool runway clip in slow-mo, where the multiple lines of models criss-crossing in front of the camera gave it an art-house feel.
But some slow-motion videos don't really do much of anything for the clothing or for the viewers, like this one, posted by L'Oreal Paris. Neither the hair nor the clothing has enough movement to warrant slow-mo.
Or this one, which Chen posted to highlight the movement of tassels. It doesn't particularly hone in on any kind of groundbreaking construction or profound emotion; I mean, we've all seen tassels before, right?
Perhaps I'm guilty of not having any patience, of wanting to drink in as much as I can in the shortest amount of time possible, so being forced to slow down is frustrating. But I have to say, what bugs me the most about slow motion videos is that annoying, anxiety-inducing, record-stopping sound!
It's been used in movies and T.V. shows so much to create suspense and drama and to foreshadow something weird or slightly off is about to happen or someone is about to fall, so it feels misplaced in fashion videos — unless a model is about to trip on the catwalk, that is.
I find myself always waiting with dread (and maybe even a little premature schadenfreude) for something bad to happen, when in fact I'm supposed to be seeing the profound beauty of the clothing, accessories, and makeup on the runway. I wish Instagram had some way of overlaying better sound onto slow-motion videos that would be more fitting for a dreamlike sequence and less evocative of a blooper reel.
Now that Chen is a couple months in to her new post at the social media app, and has posted plenty of beautifully-shot videos herself as well as touted the benefits of using video and Instagram's other features to play up clothing for designers, brands, and influencers, it's only a matter of time before the rest of the industry follows suit!
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