Kristen McMenamy has proven the idiom “better late than never” in true supermodel style, finally joining Instagram this week. The 56-year-old industry veteran, who is one of the most memorable names to emerge from the ’90s grunge movement, announced her arrival with a selfie captioned: “Here I go down the slippery slope…”
McMenamy quickly racked up follows from the industry’s biggest names like Linda Evangelista, Christopher Kane, Katie Grand, and Karen Elson, proving that even in 2021, her signature silver hair and unparalleled bone structure remain as relevant as ever.
In a series of posts, the former Chanel muse showcased her brilliant personal style. In one shot she wears a lime green Balenciaga shirt under a lilac Molly Goddard dress, an ensemble that looks like it came straight out of a Lotta Volkova-styled editorial. In another, she wears a voluminous leopard print dress with metallic gold pumps. Perhaps the best outfit was taken in the back of a British black cab (she lives in London with her husband, the art dealer Ivor Braka, and her model daughter Lily): a wrap-around black coat dress, worn with bold yellow tights, red pointed boots, and a top-handle Prada tote. At this rate, she’s tied with Rihanna for ‘most aspirational Covid dresser’.
McMenamy’s arrival on Instagram comes at a strange time for the platform. The sudden popularity of niche social networking apps like Clubhouse threatens to undermine Instagram’s influence, which is already waning following the explosion of TikTok. With increasingly puritanical guidelines about nudity, a slew of sex educators and OnlyFans users are being pushed off the platform, while the inclusion of new features like Reels and Shopping threaten to turn Instagram into ‘another Facebook’, A.K.A: tragically uncool.
But then someone like Kristen McMenamy comes along and makes you question whether Instagram isn’t so bad after all. Her aesthetic—singular and unique, unlike the homogenous neutral-paletted interiors we’ve become accustomed to seeing online—reminds us of why we fell in love with the app in the first place. At its best, Instagram is a window into the lives of interesting people. And McMenamy, perhaps best known for her 1997 wedding to the photographer Miles Aldridge, in which Karl Lagerfeld walked her down the aisle and Naomi Campbell played bridesmaid, is nothing if not interesting.