by Claire Schansinger
Coachella, Bonnaroo, Firefly, Electric Zoo – it’s officially music festival season, and with great music comes great fashion! H&M has recently created the first official co-branded collection with Coachella, and MAC is getting in on the action by teaming up with DJ Mia Moretti to create a Coachella-inspired makeup collection. Many festival trendsetters have been known to take serious fashion risks: mixing and matching funky patterns, and channeling inner rock gods and goddesses.
Coachella appeals to more than music connoisseurs. The festival attracts more than a half a million people each year — 579,000 in 2014, according to Billboard Boxscore —that includes fashionistas. A photo of style stars like Kate Bosworth or Miley Cyrus rocking a brand’s latest collection to a festival can not only land the brand recognition on glossy pages but also move the products off the shelves. Last year, high-end shoe brand Jimmy Choo teamed up with Haim at Coachella to help launch its Choo.08 collection. To help kick off Coachella on April 10, Coach—which is undergoing a fashion renaissance, thanks to a new creative director—is hosting live performances as a part of its ongoing Coach Backstage series. In March, Forever 21 launched festival merchandise with Bonnaroo in mind and Free People set up a dedicated festival shop on its site in late March. “We didn’t want to just go, ‘Okay, it’s Coachella, done,'” explains creative merchandising director Sophie Brierley. “Bonnaroo, Lollapolooza, then going out to the European festivals—the Spanish festivals are amazing. There’s definitely a girl who wants to travel that circuit. We felt like we should stock product to keep her interest.”
Music festivals date back to the 1950’s when Rhode Island’s Newport Jazz Festival and the Monterey Jazz Festival in California had fans sporting hats and sunglasses paired with classy outfits. Wearing free-floating fringe became a trend in the 1960’s and the 1990’s sparked a wave of Mary Janes, ripped tights, barrettes and lipstick to outdoor concerts. Fast forward to 2015 and Coachella was filled with girls in flower crowns, metallic temporary tattoos, fringe, tangles of baubles and granny sundresses.
Photo by Isabella Gerard
As fashion designer Mara Hoffman puts it, ” Coachella style is defined by pieces that are cool, casual and comfy. The vibe is totally on-brand for us.” Celebrity stylist Ilaria Urbinati offers several tips of what not to wear, and advises losing the “furry Davy Crockett hats and felt fedoras that will definitely give you heat stroke, and opt for straw instead.” She recommends a wider-brim straw hat because it’s less dated than a short-brimmed fedora and also gives better coverage from the intense sun. She also warns against trying to rock a bikini and opts for a flow-y blouse, shorts and tied up espadrilles. Jumpers over shorts, scalloped edge cotton tops and white blouses paired with short shorts are an easy idea. This year, the predicted must- haves include fringe bottom pants, maxi dresses, floral rompers and definitely closed toe shoes.
Although she is not attending this year, Vanessa Hudgens has become an expert in festival fashion, rocking flower headbands, fringe, floppy hats, crochet, temporary tattoos and, of course, many, many sunglasses. In 2011 she rocked a completely see-through crochet shirt, in 2012 it was a pair of flow-y bohemian pants and in 2013 she started the trend of a thigh necklace.
Isabella Gerard, a Georgetown student attended Firefly in Delaware last year and has some helpful tips: “I used Firefly as the perfect opportunity to play with mixing bright colors – my favorite outfit, a two-piece look from Anthropologie, featuring a flowing bright orange maxi skirt and a patterned bralette. A great way to spice up simple outfits is to bring along some paint and “paint on” accessories – it’s way more unique than those metallic tattoos they’re pushing nowadays.”
If you’re one of the lucky trendsetters who gets to attend, make sure to pack a great pair of Ray Bans, a rain coat, a cute wristwatch and plenty of bandanas which will make a quick fix for greasy, hot summer hair!