Festival Fashion


Music festivals today Ultra and Coachella continue to influence culture through music, art and fashion, just as Woodstock did in the 70s and 80s. Festival fashion increasingly has its own section in stores, crossing a wide range of target audiences.

Festival fashion generally consists of lace, floral, Native American inspired dress, fringe, flower crowns (real and fake), bell bottoms, crop tops, ripped denim, and all things sheer and or short. Actress Vanessa Hudgens serves as an emblem for the style, frequently making an appearance at California’s Coachella in excessive amounts of jewelry, crocheted tops, super short shorts and head wear (from head chains to flower crowns).


With festival fashion gaining popularity, clothing stores and major fashion labels are taking advantage of the growing market. Recently, H&M joined forces with Coachella to start the H&M Loves Coachella line.

“The collection combines the freedom and energy of festival fashion for both men and women; choose between bold prints, bright colors, fringe details and denim, or go romantic and pack a bag with the summer’s best bohemian accessories – perfect for a weekend of music, fashion and friendship,” said the collection’s online lookbook.

Stores like Claire’s, Forever 21 and more are also expanding into this festival market. Even Jimmy Choo took a step into festival fashion with the Choo.08 collection inspired by these trends. Coachella itself has over half a million attendees and with that in mind, major fashion brands want to partner with Coachella as sponsors, and create collections for its attendees. By creating lines that adhere to the festival, brands are gaining even more revenue from the huge crowds who range from band groupies and highschoolers to Hollywood’s hottest celebs.

The irony of festival fashion is that it promotes the individual, yet is creating a mass of copycats. The typical festival ‘hipster’ prides him or herself on being outside of the mainstream, and their music choices are no exception. An outfit worn to Coachella is not an outfit worn on an everyday basis. Yet everyone attending the festival seems to be wearing the same thing.

Stylist Stacy London commented on the trend as strictly a way for major brands to make money off predictable, repeat collections.

“You have to remember that you are an individual with the possibility of making choices within an industry that’s always going to tell you you’re failing. That’s how they sell things” London said in an interview with Cosmopolitan on March 25.

London claims that Coachella should die and so should the mass produced, risqué clothing that goes with it.

Whether or not you are a fan of festivals and the culture they create, nobody in the industry can deny that festival fashion is taking over the summer markets. And as long as musical festivals continue to dominate the social lives and media of the younger generations, the trends will remain.

Lauren Craddock is a Staff Writer. Email her st bstyle@nyunews.com.


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