Festival fashion, with its riots of colors, sequins, flower crowns and all sorts of outfits, is back. After a two-year, pandemic-induced break, Coachella, the California music festival that attracts 250,000 fans, returned over the weekend and brought lively new trends and a cash boost to the fashion industry.
Coachella, the festival festival’s most fashionable event, is known as much for its outfits as its performances. Trends for the rest of this year’s festival fashion are often dictated by outfits worn by celebrities like Kendall Jenner, Katy Perry and Gigi Hadid. For streetwear brands and fast-fashion brands, Coachella is especially important. The Boohoo-owned fast-fashion label, Pretty Little Thing, the streetwear resale site StockX and the US-based Gen Z dealer Revolve will sponsor areas at the festival, not only to promote the participants, but also to those who watch from home and on social media.
Ebony-Renee Baker, fashion editor at the Refinery29 website, describes it as “such a great commercial opportunity for brands and influencers – it’s just gotten so big now and is being observed all over the world”.
Revolves chief brand officer Raissa Gerona described Coachella to industry analysis site The Business of Fashion as “essentially, it’s massive … it’s this kind of Super Bowl”.
Festivals have long had a fashion influence since Woodstock cemented hippy chic as an aesthetic in 1969. Over the years, images of ravers in the field and Kate Moss at Glastonbury have made tracksuits and Hunter rubber boots fashionable. Lately, festival trends have included crochet and cycling shorts – now skilled in the summer style. There have also been controversial moments, such as in 2017, when the trend for Native American-style headgear led to claims of cultural appropriation.
Influencers can also earn significant sums. Maryam Ghafarinia, who has 186,000 followers on Instagram, described to New York Post how she will benefit from participating in Coachella by charging stamps of up to $ 2,000 (£ 1,530) per. posts from the page.
Amy Luca, a senior vice president at Media.Monks, a global marketing and advertising firm, said these amounts are overshadowed by the fees charged by household names: “When you talk about models and reality TV stars, then [payment] can be as high as hundreds of thousands of dollars. “
Baker said the festival season is often an opportunity for people to try trends. “I anticipate lots of vintage-inspired looks from the 90s, balletcores tulle skirts and leotards, cottagecores floral dresses, straw hats, lots of lace,” she said.
Fast-fashion brands know that the festival season is a time when consumers spend – The Business of Fashion reports a 173% boost to sales of festival fashion items across the Boohoo, H&M, Asos and Nasty Gal sites compared to 2019. Suitable not to a sustainable bid for fashion, though Baker says festival-goers will look at sustainable opportunities. “More people than ever are leaning towards frugality, second-hand shopping and vintage. Personally, I love a fresh new outfit for festivals, but always look for used opportunities first. “
Philippa Grogan, a sustainable fashion and textile consultant, describes festival fashion as “instant fun – [a bit like] the festive Christmas dress but in the summer ”. She says this makes her “ask about [the clothes] is designed with a long life in mind … Then there is the kind of aesthetics of it all, lots of sequins and lurex, which often come largely from fossil fuels like oil and natural gas, because they are basically plastic.
Grogan suggests getting smart is an option. “Cut sequins out of existing non-plastic things,” she said, “[and then] decorate on an old cardi or something. “If festival fashion is about effect, creativity like this goes a long way:” You always have something unique on if you really pull something together at home with existing materials. “