Fashion The DMs

Photoshop Maven @siduations Thinks Slapping a Logo on a Tee Is Lazy

All images courtesy of @siduations.

This is The DMs, a rundown of all things Internet culture—from the viral to the very weird—directly from the creators and the creatives driving it forward. 

Over the past six years, @siduations has animated Instagram with delightfully shameless jabs at the world of fashion. Inserting the moment's most viral fashion images into oh-so everyday situations—recent hits include Coperni's robot dog holding an Uber Eats bag and a Balenciaga model hung out to dry at a playground—the account plays with the idea of luxury and the expectations we project on couture. As stealth wealth slithers its way into the spotlight, CULTURED DMed the doyenne of ultra-saturated images to chat about the standards and scandals that inform the page's process. 

CULTURED: Where are you DMing from?

@siduations: At the moment, I'm on my bedroom floor, as I'm foam rollering my upper back. My chiropractor says it'll help with my "tech neck."

CULTURED: What do you attribute your interest in fashion to?

@siduations: My main interest in fashion is the stories the clothes tell, and how it changes depending on the person wearing the clothes. You wouldn't know much about a person if they were naked, if that makes any sense. 

CULTURED: Tea. What's the backstory behind @siduations?

@siduations: A majority of Siduations is just me seeing how fashion looks in the "real world." It's me taking fashion out of its fantasy setting or studio backdrop in fashion editorials to see if it works in real life. It's like street style photos, but all year round. It used to be just during fashion week that you would see all these runway looks on the streets.

CULTURED: What's your process of selecting images or campaigns?

@siduations: The weirder the look the better. My selection process has been a bit difficult the last couple of seasons. Everyone is toning down, scaling back... you know, quiet luxury.

CULTURED: What's your take on it?

@siduations: I'm torn. It's not good for Siduations, but it's actually how I prefer to dress IRL. I'm more into quality and practicality than logos or trends. Trends be coming and going so fast these days. But those stealth wealth pieces will last forever.

CULTURED: What's your favorite stealth wealth brand?

@siduations: At the moment, Bottega Veneta by Matthieu Blazy (even though I've never owned or worn any).

CULTURED: And stealth wealth dresser?

@siduations: I would have to say Gwyneth Paltrow, most likely because I was hooked on her trial. She looked amazing, but I had no clue who she was wearing. I never Googled so much in my life!

CULTURED: How long does it take to finish your mockups?

@siduations: Lately, it's been taking me forever just to finish one image. Prior to the pandemic, I was making at least one image a day. During and post pandemic, I've been overly cognizant of how people might misinterpret my images.

CULTURED: Misinterpret in what way?

@siduations: I play with found images in my work, and sometimes it's hard to find images that have representation. I've been accused a few times of being a racist. I've even been accused of being homophobic, and I'm GAY!!! While I was in Thailand, I posted an image I made of Thai ladyboys. I received so many comments accusing me of being transphobic because "ladyboy" was in my caption. The comments were coming from my Western audience. Meanwhile, those in Thailand were loving it. I get it though.

CULTURED: Is there a post you've ever regretted?

@siduations: Yup. That one. But I'm glad it happened.

CULTURED: What's the craziest DM you've ever received?

@siduations: The craziest DM I've ever received was from a post I did at the start of the pandemic. It was of passengers on an airplane during meal service. I had one of the passengers wearing a Marine Serre face mask asking the other whether or not they were going to eat their meal. Because the mask was on an Asian person, I had someone accuse me of being racist. Keep in mind I'm Asian. I wonder if the person DMing me has ever been to an Asian country like Thailand or Japan. Pretty much everyone wears a face mask; they have been way before the pandemic.

CULTURED: What’s overrated in fashion right now?

@siduations: The logo—when brands slap one onto a tee and call it luxury. It's lazy. When I see people wearing them, all I notice is the brand, not the person. It's not telling me anything about them other than that they're flexing hard.

CULTURED: Top three fashion icons?

@siduations: Jane Birkin because she never has more than one bag at a time. Emmanuelle Alt because she kills it every season without following current trends. Chloë Sevigny because, even with her over-the-top looks, she makes it look very Chloë. Practical, effortless, and true to self.

CULTURED: Favorite fashion ad campaign?

@siduations: Yes! Pretty much anything shot by Juergen Teller, especially his work for Helmut Lang prior to Helmut leaving. Not sure why I’m so drawn to it. It’s most likely because it’s not telling us what we should wear or how to wear it. 

CULTURED: What’s the most niche account you follow?

@siduations: I can't think of one at the moment, most likely because they're all niche? I probably wouldn't follow them if they weren't. I can't handle my ADHD let alone accounts that don't have a specific point of view.

CULTURED: Any fashion or Internet predictions for the next 5 years?

@siduations: I don't even have any predictions for what's going to happen tomorrow 🤔