Trends Pioneered by Instagram It-Girls: Devon Lee Carlson
Updated: Mar 1, 2022
by: Julianna Del Rey
Modern Fashion It-Girl
Greeting your feed with that quintessential toothy grin and those impossible legs is none other than Instagram’s favorite it-girl and trend-trailblazer Devon Lee Carlson. She’s both effortless and coordinated; she’s straight from a campy 90s rom-com yet unmistakably contemporary. When she’s not on your feed sporting Lizzie-Mcguire-esque platform sandals and a cropped baby tee, she’s documenting her enviable lifestyle on Youtube, modeling for the likes of Réalisation Par, collaborating with Marc Jacobs, or designing for her iPhone case brand Wildflower.
In fact, what sets Devon apart from Instagram’s fashionable nepotism babies is her authenticity and self-made quality. According to Wildflower’s website, her mother, Michelle Carlson, began making and selling studded iPhone cases for Devon and her friends in 2012. The company blew up after a fan encounter with Miley Cyrus, who spotted Devon’s case while they were taking a picture together. Miley fawned over the floral, gold-studded case and after Devon offered her one, she recommended that they start selling online. Miley tweeted the photo and the rest, as they say, is history.
Devon’s style can be aptly described as late-90s bubblegum glam meets a provocative edge, and sometimes mismatching yet aesthetically-sound print and color combinations. She’s not afraid to mix statement pieces or throw in a designer item to elevate the number. If you’re looking to emulate her style, aside from low-rise jeans, vintage slip dresses, and printed mini skirts, cowboy boots are a fundamental item in the Devon Lee Carlson lookbook.
I’d say cowboy boots are the slowly-blossoming secret to make a basic outfit look more stylish and unique, or an overly-polished outfit look more dressed-down and effortless. It’s like today’s (less antiquated and tacky) version of pairing Converse with your prom dress--it’s boyishly-feminine.
Now, for my personal favorite Devon staple--slip dresses. Especially when they’re paired with micro bags. In this low-effort piece you can perfectly encapsulate that nostalgic coming-of-age “reveal” moment from our favorite 90s rom coms. They’re minimalistic, sleek (made from silk, polyester, satin, lace), and dainty yet risqué.
Perhaps the best thing to come from the “y2k” fashion revival efforts are baby tees (ignoring Depop girls selling literal children’s clothes), despite the fact that this era was mostly disastrous (skirts and dresses over jeans come to mind). Baby tees--whether sleeveless or not--are reminiscent of that carefree, juvenile attitude from that time, and its teenage icons. Before Devon Lee Carlson, there was Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, and, of course, Paris Hilton. She channels their spirit whenever she wears a vintage baby tee, either decorated with an affectionately-corny phrase, those floral, bright, and gaudy 90s prints, or a simple plain white one. They’re flattering unlike a regular t-shirt and pair nicely with literally everything--over a dress, a miniskirt, jeans, etc. Because of their carefree energy, it’s also acceptable to wear them with clashing colors and patterns. It’s always going to be a look.
Devon Lee Carlson is the it-girl of it-girls. She’s a self-made business woman, style icon, stylist, model, designer, Youtuber, girlfriend of a rockstar--she’s the ideal wrapped up in an infectious smile and a colorful closet. There’s nothing inauthentic or contrived about her impromptu shots on Instagram or her Youtube vlogs, where you could just be a friend she’s calling. It can be argued that her supermodel lifestyle and extensive wardrobe can only be achieved by financial success, mixed with luck and conventional attractiveness, but there’s no denying her reinvigorating influence and 90s revival efforts in the fashion world.