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PAUSE Debate: The ‘Selfie’

By September 28, 2014Culture, Fashion News, Instagram

Sleek sportswear out of the capital.

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London label Rabbithole present their latest SS14 collection of minimal, monochromatic sportswear. The lookbook makes heavy use of reverse layering which you can expect to see more and more of. Staple cotton tees are refined with side-zip details and longline hems, whilst sweatpants come in a tapered fit. The collection also includes a pair of white leather high tops to complete the look.

View the whole collection at: www.rabbitholelondon.com

Words: Nathan Sharp

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Sleek sportswear out of the capital.

IMG_5569

London label Rabbithole present their latest SS14 collection of minimal, monochromatic sportswear. The lookbook makes heavy use of reverse layering which you can expect to see more and more of. Staple cotton tees are refined with side-zip details and longline hems, whilst sweatpants come in a tapered fit. The collection also includes a pair of white leather high tops to complete the look.

View the whole collection at: www.rabbitholelondon.com

Words: Nathan Sharp

IMG_5624 IMG_5656 IMG_5646 IMG_5639
IMG_5658 IMG_5713 IMG_5680 IMG_5668
IMG_5724 IMG_5863 IMG_5858 IMG_5881
IMG_5903 IMG_5936 IMG_5930 IMG_5907
IMG_5936 IMG_5980 IMG_5964 IMG_5952
IMG_5991 IMG_6015 IMG_6004 IMG_6002


Since its entry into the Oxford Dictionary last year, the “selfie” has been a much talked about topic. But, by taking a selfie, should it be classed as self obsession?

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It is argued that uploading a photo onto social media is a form of self obsession, while others just say it’s about keeping the world informed. The shame with which many people admit to being a selfie-taker suggests the former. But many assert that the self portrait is a well established art form, and has been across art history. The self portrait is not, in the majority of cases, viewed as an expression of the artist’s self obsession or self absorption, but viewed as a complex artistic expression. So you could argue that the selfie is just a variation of the traditional self portrait. After all, photography is a recognised art form.

Photo by @marianodivaio

Photo by @marianodivaio

Photo by @gianmariasainato

Photo by @gianmariasainato

Photo by @iammago

Photo by @iammago

However, there seems to be a void between the self portrait and the immediacy and the intentions of the selfie. Many of us upload photographs of ourselves onto social media in its various forms, for some reason. Because selfies are just the ‘thing to do’, because we actually look good in this photo or because we’re just trying to impress. Whatever the purpose, Karl Lagerfeld sums up the selfie rather well, calling it “electronic masturbation”, almost like an addiction. At PAUSE, we find this a very fitting way to describe the selfie, and the strange sort of validation we hope for when we click ‘post’.

This doesn’t summarise the selfie completely though; until recently, we had never considered a self-taken group shot to be called a ‘group selfie’, but apparently it is. So maybe, the selfie isn’t always about self satisfaction. Maybe, in some circumstances, the point is just to document special moments spent with close people, loved celebrities and others in a quick and easy way, and the best way to share it with all of them is to post it via social media. There are definitely cases when the selfie is selfless, in the sense that it’s aim isn’t to make oneself feel good. The ‘#nomakeupforcancer’ would be a prime example.

Ellen DeGeneres group Oscar selfie

There are many other factors that come in when thinking about the selfie; many youtubers/bloggers create make-up and hair tutorials which means they would need to photograph themselves before and after the completed look, and many argue that posting selfies is not narcissism but the opposite, a cry for people to tell you that you look good, and to gain ‘likes’ on whatever social media platform you post on. All of these factors add up to form a complex argument. The selfie will continue to be a mystery as everyone’s motivations differ.

But one thing is for certain, the digital age has had a huge impact on the selfie; where before only true artists could create the perfect self-portrait and have it generate interest, now anyone can grab a camera and take a good selfie.

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Words: Ellie Brown
Edited by: PAUSE Team