A fash­ion bo­nanza at ‘Coachella fest’

From bondage to flow­ers

Arab Times - - NEWS/FEATURES -

INDIO, United States, April 16, (AFP): Coachella be­came one of the world’s premier mu­sic fes­ti­vals not only for the A-list per­form­ers. The two-week­end party in the Cal­i­for­nia desert has be­come a ma­jor event in its own right for the fash­ion. While de­sign­ers have heav­ily mar­keted their brands to Coachella, the fans who draw the most no­tice of­ten do so by em­brac­ing their own sar­to­rial flair, driven by a sense of in­no­va­tion and, among rev­el­ers in the sear­ing heat, of in­hi­bi­tion.

They dress in green from head to toe, or at least when they dress at all.

Tiana Tut­tle and T.J. Son­nier cov­ered their bodies with green nets over match­ing swim­suits, with caps to top it off. The pair from Los An­ge­les have been co­or­di­nat­ing their fes­ti­val out­fits for sev­eral years. Tut­tle, 23, said that this year, they wanted to ex­plore the fash­ion pos­si­bil­i­ties of bondage.

“We wanted to be that sexy thing in the cor­ner that you can look at when you’re bored at the show,” said Son­nier, 22.


Hil­lary Os­good, 31, has been head­ing to fes­ti­vals, es­pe­cially Coachella, for 12 years. One thing she never for­gets and has never lost — her light pur­ple um­brella that both shields her from the sun and high­lights her sig­na­ture style.

This year, she decked her­self out in match­ing flow­ers draped like a tur­ban on her head.

While the flow­ers are ar­ti­fi­cial, Os­good said she found in­spi­ra­tion as she lives in the flower district of Los An­ge­les and works at a bar.

“It’s a way to ex­em­plify the Coachella life­style. It’s not ev­ery day that you find a safe place to project some of your style,” she said.

Aquiel Hay­den has been on the fes­ti­val cir­cuit for the past two weeks and threw her clothes into a suit­case, choos­ing the day’s wardrobe at the last minute.

The pur­ple-haired 21-year-old sported a floor­length, sparkling red dress that she found in a vin­tage store in her home of Santa Bar­bara, Cal­i­for­nia, paired with thick ma­roon sun­glasses and a golden belt.

Hay­den how­ever said she was dis­ap­pointed in the chang­ing mu­si­cal di­rec­tion of ever-ex­pand­ing Coachella and may not come back.

“I thought I should go all out for my last one. It’s sort of like my grad­u­a­tion,” she said.

Chanel Twyman and Auzu­nay Watkins were look­ing for some­thing dif­fer­ent for Coachella and found it — short, and largely re­veal­ing, dresses made en­tirely from the tops of soft drink cans.

The pair from Philadel­phia bought the unique out­fits from the New York de­signer Gypsy Sport and matched them with equally shiny half-masks with rab­bit ears.

Twyman, 23, said that she and Watkins, 25, con­sid­ered them­selves “very fash­ion-for­ward” — and found the cans to be com­fort­able.

For Genevieve Paish of Christchurch, New Zealand, who is at­tend­ing Coachella for the first time, the ini­tial ac­ces­sory was a pair of orange-red, heartshaped sun­glasses.

Paish, 21, said she picked the rest of her out­fit to match, in­clud­ing her im­promptu dress of droop­ing red strings.

She dyed her hair a sim­i­lar color and used a key chain to make puffy red scrunchies with which to hold up her hair.

Also: LON­DON, United King­dom:

Af­ter a child­hood build­ing tree houses and ro­bots, Bri­tish de­signer Christo­pher Rae­burn has made a ca­reer out of trans­form­ing un­usual ma­te­ri­als — in­clud­ing para­chutes — into clothes ready for the cat­walk.

More than a decade since grad­u­at­ing from Lon­don’s pres­ti­gious Royal Col­lege of Art, Rae­burn has made a name for him­self with streetwear fit for the style-con­scious, en­vi­ron­men­tally-aware buy­ers.

“We only do three things. We ei­ther re­make, we re­cy­cle or we re­duce,” the 35-year-old told AFP.

Rae­burn has picked the for­mer premises of veteran fash­ion house Burberry for his own la­bel, in a for­mer in­dus­trial zone of east Lon­don.

The open-plan airy of­fice is filled with sewing ma­chines, iron­ing boards and rolls of fab­ric. When AFP vis­ited, a group of seam­stresses were busy cre­at­ing an­i­mals made out of fab­ric — a quirky spe­cial­ity of the de­signer.

Pieces from past col­lec­tions are stored in large white wardrobes, in­clud­ing a mil­i­tary jacket.

“With (the col­lec­tion) Re­made, it’s about de­con­struct­ing and re­work­ing,” said Rae­burn of the piece, which in its orig­i­nal form was a guard’s uni­form from Buck­ing­ham Palace.

“Ul­ti­mately I think as hu­mans we can­not con­tinue con­sum­ing in the way that we are, and not just cloth­ing — ev­ery­thing from prod­uct de­sign to food, are in­cred­i­bly waste­ful,” he added.

Such an at­ti­tude has been at the heart of Rae­burn’s work through­out his ca­reer, in­clud­ing his first show at Lon­don Fash­ion Week.

“I bought one para­chute on eBay, I think it cost me £30 ($42, 34 eu­ros), and from that one para­chute I made eight gar­ments... And things have just grown step by step from there,” he said.

Rae­burn has nu­mer­ous sources for his ma­te­ri­als, in­clud­ing for­eign im­ports, hunt­ing through mil­i­tary sur­plus, as well as other chan­nels which are kept as closely-guarded se­crets.

“I get asked a lot, you’re not wor­ried that things are go­ing to run out?” he said, com­ment­ing it is “scary” just how much ex­cess ma­te­rial is avail­able.

His most re­cent col­lec­tion, pre­sented at Lon­don Fash­ion Week in Jan­uary, used pro­tec­tive im­mer­sion suits to cre­ate men’s and women’s coats.

“(There are) hun­dred of thou­sands of these items that have never been used,” said the de­signer, ex­plain­ing the suits are of­ten thrown away af­ter a cer­tain pe­riod of time to abide by health and safety rules.

Rae­burn also bought a raft, cut­ting it up to make coats, jack­ets and bags.

“You pull on the rope and then the whole thing ex­pands and in­side it had ev­ery­thing you would need to sur­vive on the open ocean for one month for 25 peo­ple,” he ex­plained.

The de­signer’s abil­ity to re­work such an ar­ray of ma­te­ri­als is at­trib­uted to his child­hood “in the mid­dle of nowhere” in south-east Eng­land, close to the wood which in­spired the “Win­nie-the-Pooh” books.

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