IT STARTED WITH TAORMINA: flicking through flirty fit-and-flare Dolce & Gabbana dresses printed with plump Sicilian lemons, set against the Ionian Sea. Then double-tapping on berets by the Eiffel Tower, Breton stripes on the Bateaux Mouches, scarlet lips and carefully dishevelled hair. A few more scrolls and I find floor-sweeping gowns in Fez, lighter-than-air linen in terracotta hues, weighed down with swollen bangles. Picture-perfect ensembles, artfully curated and colour-matched to the iconic landscapes they sit in front of.
Away from Instagram, I started noticing it more and more in my travels IRL: among the general clamour of baseball-capped tourists, a more glamorous, considered class of traveller. Women, mostly, with either other girlfriends or a partner, ever-so-slightly conspicuously overdressed — albeit chic — and focusing more of their attention on the playback of their iPhotos than, say, the grand view of the fountains at Villa d’Este. Sequins before a Santorini sunset, oversized bauble earrings like ripe nectarines and altitude-sickness-inducing heels on the Spanish Steps (which would only inhibit the 138-stair ascent). In short, the ceremony of dressing for the occasion in full symphony, singing to the click of a phone camera.
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