In mid-August of 1969, 400,000 young radicals convened on a dairy farm in the Catskills for what was billed as “An Aquarian Exposition: 3 Days of Peace and Music.” In those following three days (and little bit into a fourth) 32 musical acts performed, two babies were born, countless others were likely conceived and various legal and illegal substances were consumed. And while those 400,000 hippies danced and loved their way through the weekend, they were also unwittingly creating the epitome of what a music festival should be; an ideal audiences still yearn for today.
Nowhere is this desire more clear than in festival fashion. The term “festival fashion” has become so ubiquitous retailers create entire collections around the idea and the trends spotted at the more popular festivals become the blueprint for summer dressing regardless of one’s intention of actually camping and jamming out. And in each of the collections, and on the backs of actual festival goers, the specter of Woodstock looms large. From crochet to fringe and frayed denim to stone jewelry, festival attendants today still take inspiration from the late 60s counter-culture. So of course, that means festivals are full of the item most closely associated with the hippie movement: flowers.
The kickoff to what has been dubbed festival season (and what is known to everyone else as summer) begins in Indio, California it late April with the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, usually just called Coachella. As one of the most well known music festivals and a favorite among celebrities, Coachella sets the standard for what is considered hip in festival wear. And while the flower crowns that used to epitomize the festival may be waning in popularity, flowers in general were as prevalent as ever this year. The same way the little black dress has become the standard of chic due to its long history and suitably for almost all occasions, so have flowers become the standard for dancing through the desert. When it comes to festival fashion, flowers will never go out of style.
This year attendees and performers alike rocked plenty of trendier floral prints, such as tropical or Hawaiian prints in everything from shirts, dresses, pants and coordinated separates. There was also an uptick in smaller, delicate floral patterns and denim embroidery thanks to the resurgence of 90s fashion. Some attendees also managed to marry athleisure with the old festival standby. The sheer trend doesn’t seem to be going anywhere and many chose floral appliques to offset their looks. There were also a ton of men, again both attendees and performers, who proved flowers aren’t just for the ladies. And of course, there were still a plethora of flower crowns, because if you can’t sport a head full of flowers at a desert music fest, where can you?
Below are some of our picks for the best uses of flowers at this year’s Coachella to inspire you all summer long.