Heav­ing crowds, blis­ter­ing heat and a sea of boho babes—mu­sic fes­ti­vals are the new run­way shows. CAITLIN AGNEW dives into the muddy trenches and un­cov­ers this sea­son’s coolest new must-haves.

Fashion (Canada) - - Contents -

Chan­nel your in­ner Kate Moss with one of the many new fes­ti­val in­spired col­lec­tions, plus tips on what, and what not, to pack.


beaded moc­casins match your cro­cheted caf­tan? Blame Kate Moss. In 2005, the su­per­model brought fes­ti­val fash­ion into the spot­light when she was pho­tographed in hot pants, Hunter wellies and devil-may-care hair at Eng­land’s Glas­ton­bury Fes­ti­val. Sexy, care­free and cov­ered in mud, she embodied a new mu­sic-fes­ti­val life­style, one in which what you’re wear­ing is just as im­por­tant as who’s per­form­ing on stage (in this case, Moss’s then-boyfriend and Babysham­bles front­man, Pete Do­herty, who had less stay­ing power than a Glow Stick).

“Even the artists them­selves care so much about how they look and dress for fes­ti­vals. It’s only ap­pro­pri­ate that mu­sic lis­ten­ers do their part,” says Aimee Song, the Los An­ge­les-based in­te­rior designer be­hind the fash­ion blog Song of Style, who shares her So Cal #OOTDs (out­fit of the day) with 2 mil­lion Instagram fol­low­ers. A regular at Coachella—the an­nual mu­sic fest in In­dio, Calif., where fash­ion dar­lings Azealia Banks, Florence Welch and FKA Twigs per­formed this past April—Song knows the fes­ti­val cir­cuit, and its looks, well. “The typ­i­cal trend would be cro­chet and lace,” she says of the en­sem­bles seen in the crowds at fes­ti­vals like Lol­la­palooza, Bon­na­roo, Osheaga and Field Trip. “But this year, I think we’ll see more pat­terns, such as trop­i­cal and Aztec prints.” For Coachella, Song wore a white lace Zim­mer­mann romper, com­plet­ing her free-spir­ited look with Dior sun­glasses and Is­abel Marant glad­i­a­tor san­dals.

Danielle Bern­stein of the style blog We Wore What sees a ’70s re­vival hap­pen­ing at fes­ti­vals this sea­son, shar­ing her own throw­back looks with her nearly 1 mil­lion fol­low­ers on Instagram. The New Yorker and for­mer guest judge on Project Run­way All Stars pre­dicts the re­turn to the fes­ti­val fields of “ev­ery­thing fringe and suede,” the likes of which were seen on spring run­ways, such as Al­berta Fer­retti and Anna Sui. Among Bern­stein’s favourite pieces in­spired by this era are her printed jump­suit from Ref­or­ma­tion, flared J Brand jeans and avi­a­tor sun­glasses.

In the decade since Moss made rain boots cool again at Glas­ton­bury, fes­ti­val fash­ion has grown into its own mar­ket cat­e­gory. Dur­ing this year’s Coachella, Pan­dora jew­ellery spon­sored a se­ries

of run­way shows that fea­tured fes­ti­val col­lec­tions by Nanette Le­pore, Plenty by Tracy Reese and more at the Parker Palm Springs ho­tel. Look­ing chic in the crowd à la Kate Bos­worth and Rosie Hunt­ing­ton-White­ley (two of Song’s favourite short-shorts-clad fes­ti­val It girls) has never been eas­ier, since many fash­ion brands now cater to all of your mod­ern Wood­stock needs. Swedish fast-fash­ion mega re­tailer H&M launched its cap­sule col­lec­tion H&M Loves Coachella this past March and had a pop-up shop right on the fes­ti­val grounds. And this spring, Philadel­phia-based fash­ion la­bel Free Peo­ple de­buted its on­line Fes­ti­val Shop, which in­cludes ev­ery­thing from tents to tam­bourines to tem­po­rary tat­toos. “We were in­spired by a harder-edge look with a re­bel­lious spirit,” says Kristal Hill, fash­ion direc­tor at Free Peo­ple, who looked to mu­sic icons like Jimi Hen­drix and Ja­nis Jo­plin for in­spi­ra­tion, favour­ing a hard-livin’ aes­thetic over hip­pie-dip­pie vibes. “It re­ally does evoke the feel­ing of the ’70s but in a com­pletely mod­ern way,” she says, re­fer­ring to the col­lec­tion’s fringed boot san­dals and em­bel­lished tro­phy jack­ets.

Chan­nelling your in­ner Dead Head is all well and groovy, but it may not be ev­ery­one’s cup of pey­ote. If your style skews more con­ser­va­tive than coun­ter­cul­ture, start by ex­per­i­ment­ing with one or two fes­ti­val-ready pieces so you don’t feel like you’re play­ing dress-up in Ste­vie Nicks’s closet. A cer­tain level of Girl Guide pre­pared­ness also plays a big role in de­cid­ing what to wear to a fes­ti­val, what with un­pre­dictable weather and ac­tion-packed days and nights. “Plan your look ahead of time so that when the day comes you can just en­joy the show,” says Hill.

For Bern­stein, fes­ti­val dress­ing is all about stylish and prac­ti­cal must-haves. “A back­pack is es­sen­tial, also a longer cardi­gan or jacket for when it gets cold at night,” she says. A fan of over-pack­ing, Song ad­vises bring­ing plenty of lay­er­ing pieces, a big hat to pro­tect you from the sun, san­dals, boots and a colour­ful se­lec­tion of pieces made of breath­able fab­rics like lace and cro­chet to keep cool dur­ing hot af­ter­noons. Her do-not-pack list in­cludes bulky hand­bags that in­hibit dance moves and prized pos­ses­sions, which be­come a li­a­bil­ity when things get wild. “My sis­ter and I were lis­ten­ing to David Guetta one year when her sun­glasses fell on the floor,” says Song. “I was jump­ing up and down and stepped on them.”

But don’t leave all of your sig­na­ture ac­ces­sories at home with your selfie sticks, which were banned this year by the or­ga­niz­ers of both Coachella and Lol­la­palooza. Mak­ing bold sar­to­rial choices that stay true to your sense of style will keep you from get­ting lost in the crowd. “In­cor­po­rat­ing your own style makes a big­ger state­ment than wear­ing what ev­ery­one else is wear­ing,” says Song. Just leave your whites at home—even Kate Moss’s sig­na­ture Glas­ton­bury look got splat­tered with mud. But get­ting dirty is part of the fun.



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