Monday, April 28, 2014

expression versus expectation: what is festival fashion all about?.......

Is festival fashion less about expression and more about expectations?

I missed Coachella this year (and every year previous to this one) due to being on the other side of the world. Of course, just because I was a few thousand km's away doesn't mean I missed out on the plethora of festival fashion the inundated every social media stream and a big chunk of the world wide web.

But what struck me most about the pictures and selfies emanating from Palm Springs was not their sheer number - that wasn't surprising at all, I mean pictures or it didn't happen right?

No, what caught my eye, and thus my attention, was the sameness of this breed of festival fashion that is now almost expected of those hitting up Coachella - or any major music festival for that matter.

Floaty florals, lots of white (which is incredibly impracticable I might add - mud and dust etc, etc,) boots, cutoff denim, hats - lots of hats, see through everything, copious amounts of jewellery and temporary face adornments, frayed everything and washed out band tees, among others.

Attendance at any major music festival almost necessitates this hippy, bohemian, rocker style of dress that could find it's roots in Woodstock, but probably feels more comfortable in the 'What to wear to Coachella' posts that littered the internet before the festival had even rung out one tune.

And sure, music festivals are a place to express yourself, but I have to wonder if festival fashion has become less about expression and more about expectations.

The idea of festival fashion seems so ingrained in our collective fashion conscious that we appear happy to forgo our personal style in favour of following the sartorial expectations associated with major music festivals like Coachella.

We'll ditch our slouchy tweed trousers, oversized man shirts and Celine everything in favour of a style of dress so far removed from our own that it almost seems comical.

And I have to wonder why?

What's behind the idea that to truly experience a festival one must be clothed a certain way, must fit a certain mould, must meet a certain level of sartorial expectation?

Any thoughts?

kb xx