It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when Coachella became a sacred ground for young celebrities in flower crowns and jean shorts, but the annual three-day music festival in Palm Springs, California, is now a parody of itself, overrun by peace sign-flashing models and It Girls draped in fringe and dripping with self-regard.
This year saw no shortage of maxi dresses, crochet bikinis, gladiator sandals and other overdone bohemian styles we now associate with “festival fashion.”
For the uninitiated, imagine if Woodstock’s hippies had been dressed by stylists and designers. The result is a uniform that’s contrived and costume-y, perhaps best described as Paris Hilton-Meets-Joshua Tree chic.
But amidst the reliable braids, crop tops, and printed flairs, there was a subtle shift away from the bohemian toward the understatedly sexy and slightly edgy. Take Kendall Jenner’s black lace bralette and matching cowboy hat, for instance, or Bella Hadid’s body chain.
Sandals were swapped out for sneakers (Emma Roberts paired pink Converse high-tops with a studded black miniskirt) and combat boots replaced suede ones on model Chanel Iman.
For her Coachella debut, Taylor Swift bleached her hair and declared choker necklaces “the new flower crowns” in an Instagram post.
Other popular accessories included bindi-style forehead jewelry and bandanna neckerchiefs.
Indeed, this year’s It Girls embraced the ’90s with looks that were more Courtney Love in her heyday than Sienna Miller circa 2004 (Miller is perhaps single-handedly responsible for making hippie aesthetic hip again.)
At the festival’s brand-sponsored pool parties, the crochet bikinis made less of a splash than the one-pieces, from Kylie Jenner’s cut-out Louis Vuitton suit and matching headscarf to Poppy Delevingne’s blue-and-white checkered maillot.
On the male festival-goers, Brooklyn Beckham’s floral Gucci shirt was a huge hit with GQ.
Many of these standouts will likely inform summer trends. ShopStyle, a fashion search engine linked to 1,400 e-commerce sites, reported that searches for chokers climbed 107 percent over a four-day period that began on Friday, according to WWD, while lace bralette searches jumped 120 percent. Bandanna neckerchiefs won the search engine contest by a long shot with a 207 percent spike, which means you’ll probably see them on the racks at Zara and Topshop as soon as next week.
But if ShopStyle is any indication, plenty of Coachella staples will feature prominently in summer trend forecasts. Round sunglasses, off-the-shoulder tops, white dresses, and crochet were among the most-searched trends from the festival.
While the departure from over-the-top boho looks was a breath of fresh air, the general scene at Coachella was no different from previous years: young celebrities milling around the festival like college students on spring weekend--and being paid to post photos on Instagram.