The street style that characterized the festival fashion of Coachella may be coming to an end. According to Vogue, the unique and eccentric style attributed to the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California for the past 19 years is officially on the decline.
Vogue writer Chioma Nnadi says the original fashion trends of Coachella had been spontaneous with many pieces put together while festival goers were on the road.
Outfits were bought at thrift shops in Los Angeles, which are decked with bows of ’70s vintage-style clothing. Aesthetic mixed with comfort and innovation.
“Fashion and nostalgia have always gone hand in hand, and when it comes to Coachella, it’s that whole romanticism about having a music festival, open in the prairies, with a flower child look,” said Anupreet Bhui, the senior editor for trend forecasting agency WGSN.
“It’s a hippie look mixed with grunge elements,” Bhui said.
Yet, in recent years, retailers and brands have started to commercialize Coachella street style to dispense festival-inspired collections. But it isn’t only retailers who are responsible for a more generic appearance to this year’s festival.
Leeds College of Art lecturer and fashion historian Emmanuelle Dirix says the festival’s increase in celebrity appearances have also had a key impact on the festival style.
Rather than festival goers dressing in unique and eccentric pieces, attendees are aspiring to the styles of the celebrities in attendance, a style which many fashion brands are cashing in on.
Festival-goers’ desires to look their most stylish may not be too surprising in today’s age of social media. In fact, the average Supreme consumer, according to Vogue, is between the ages of 18 and 25 and simply wants to buy things that are cool.
Companies like American Express have also taken to setting up marketing events at the festival to reach their audience more directly.
These marketing events aren’t new. CNN reports that Walter Frye, vice president of sponsorships and branded entertainment with American Express, began collaborating with Coachella four years ago.
Needless to say, the popularization of the Coachella has led to a lot of festival goer fatigue. Alexa Chung, a street style fashion designer, told the Hollywood Reporter this past March that Coachella’s commercialization has kept her from enjoying the festival’s original spirit and bohemianism.
“It’s a place where you used to be free to express yourself but because of social media now, it’s the one weekend where there’s more pressure to get dressed now and that doesn’t make sense to me,” Chung said.