Music Festival x Fashion Shows: Not a Match

But of course, such hopes are dashed time and time again, because what festival fashion actually means is endless boring photos of people such as Kate Bosworth and Poppy Delevingne, who, as far as I can tell, are famous purely for being photographed at music festivals, looking improbably glamorous. We can talk until the cows come home about how Kate Moss and her Hunter wellingtons and Sienna Miller and her boho leather belts are to blame for this, but increasingly my finger is pointed more towards the rise and rise of Coachella in the US, AKA the whitest event in American history this side of the 1960s. Perhaps unsurprisingly, a music festival in California, where the weather is always good and the celebrities are in close proximity, has proved itself especially conducive to furthering the myth that music festivals are not about music, mayhem or mischief-making, but white girls looking as sexy as possible with pointless hair accessories.

Victoria's Secret model Alessandra Ambrosio Coachella
Victoria’s Secret model Alessandra Ambrosio with friends at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in April 2015. Photograph: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

Unsurprisingly, this idea that music festivals are actually al fresco fashion shows has risen up alongside the – for want of a better term – middle-classification of music festivals. Seriously, have you seen some of the nonsense that happens at them these days? Friends have told me about one particular music festival where you have to make reservations – reservations! – ahead of time in order to eat food cooked by Michelin-starred chefs in a field. Honestly, can you even imagine? This is at a MUSIC FESTIVAL, an event where I personally think a young person is winning if they remember to bring underwear, never mind pre-booked dinner reservations.

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Anything that is moving from the fringe to the mainstream is bound to be basic. It is inevitable. There are so many examples of these from the drag queen lexicon in the Paris is Burning to the Burning Man to the gentrification of wonderfully unique neighbourhood with characters. 

It is plaguing the music festival at the moment and we focus less on the music and more on what they’re wearing sans the red carpet. We have been to several music festivals in which we think the best experience that we had were the ones where we were a sweaty mess and our clothes came off. Fashion, what fashion?