During the three days of the festival, I did not wear a flower crown. The popular culturally questionable antiquities I see still floating around are bamboo-framed oil-paper umbrellas, which originated in China but are common throughout Asia and are legally allowed to be used. strange “with umbrellas but no actual umbrellas” of the festival.
Younger attendees tell me how they’ve been planning their outfits for weeks, getting inspired by TikTok and Pinterest, and ordering new pieces from fast fashion sites like Shein and Princess Polly. But on Sunday night, I ran into a group of Coachella veterans passing by the rainbow-lined Spectra tower, a semi-famous Coachella landmark. I wonder what “Coachella style” means to them.
“Well, I feel that I am very experienced, so I think pragmatically. I think light jacket, pants, layers. Alana, 36, who was attending with friends Brittany and Quentin, said: ‘Definitely wearing crap, no matter what kind of boots. Together, they assume this is somewhere between their 10th or 14th Coachella, if you count both weekends. (According to Alana: “We just kept saying, ‘Oh, this is our last year.’ And then there’s always something that comes along, and we’re like, ‘Okay, we’ll do it again. This is our last year, but…’”) The group said they noticed a change of vibes around 2015 or so, when the fashion and overall atmosphere of the festival started to become more collective.
“The influencer culture has exploited and [Coachella] has become something else. You start to see people show up with individual photographers and take ‘real’ photos,” says Quentin, who is wearing a range of niche SoCal streetwear brands: her shorts and bucket hats. Supervsn, Supervsn’s socks. Tyler, the Creator‘s Golf Wang, That’s Awful Lot Of Cough Syrup’s bandana. “I just saw a guy [who] looks like he’s dressed as a cheese slicer and I get it, but I don’t rather understood. I feel like: It’s hot. How do you pee? What’s happening?”
Alana, who was wearing a patched denim jacket, printed loose pants and white cowboy boots, added: “It’s time for outfits that are no less practical and more appropriate for the ‘Gram’ ‘.
As I watched the trio of stylish performers outside a hotel in nearby Indian Wells waiting for them to head to the festival grounds, I asked: What does Coachella style mean to you?
“Freedom,” Mao, 30, and Tokumi, 31, said in unison. Mao is wearing a pair of psychedelic print pants and Nike Shox shoes; Tokumi wears a transparent black shirt, a metallic silver bucket hat, and soft green Croc boots. Sure, dressing comfortably, not wanting too much distance between you and the music is beautiful. There is also beauty in taking the time to plan an outfit and execute it perfectly here in the square of this exquisite desert.
Tsola, 26, who joined Coachella for the first time wearing a white mini skirt and neon green knee-high boots, said: “This is definitely the festival of runway fashion. “In the past, you had to dress appropriately for the weather: ‘We’re in the desert, it’s hot, you have to wear a mask and shorts.’ But now it really appears to serve looks, honey. I really believe it will bring the Grammy but Coachella. Red carpet for sure.