The power of music in society is undeniable. Is it because of the intrinsic sound of the heart beating? Music has repeatedly given a voice to those who are mute. It is also the rich soundtrack of our human lives; it challenges conventions and stimulates our imagination and creativity.
With Coachella kicking off this last week, there is no better time than now to share with you some of the best Music Festival styles that have impacted American subcultures and mainstream fashion throughout the years.
Newport Folk Festival (Rhode Island 60s)
The Newport Folk Festival introduced Bob Dylan and Joan Baez to the world during a period of fragility and division in America. The unpopular Vietnam War kept dragging on and the fight for Civil Rights was in full effect, filling the air with tension and violence. Folk songs originated in rural America and spoke about the human condition, about love, joy, pain and sorrows.
Fashion in the early 60s remained mostly conservative; blazers, chemises and sack dresses were all the rave. Mod and go-go jewelry adorned the young women of that time.
Woodstock Music and Art Fair (New York 1970s)
By the late 60s, the US had experienced a drastic shift in consciousness; man had landed on the moon, sexual liberation and the hippie movement were spreading rapidly across the nation. Woodstock ’69 became a cultural phenomenon drawing a hundred of thousands of people to the psychedelic concert festival to express themselves freely to the sound of Jimmy Hendrix, Janis Joplin and the Grateful Dead. Hippie fashion took hold; simplicity was their moto.
Flowy dresses, micro mini-skirts, high-top suede boots and bell bottoms became very popular at the time. A wide range of patterns emerged including psychedelic, flower and opt art motifs, paisley and stripes. Native American turquoise, beads, gemstones, silver peace signs, head bands and feather earrings were essential hippie accessories.
Lollapalooza (Nationwide 90s)
Lollapalooza was originally created by Perry Farrell in 1991 as a farewell tour for his grunge band Jane’s Addiction. It is he who at the time coined the word “alternative nation”. Alternative rock emerged from the independent music underground of the 80s and became widely popular in the 90s with the rise of independent recording labels.
Gloomy Seattle grunge and bands like Nirvana, Jane’s Addiction, Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam and Stone Temple Pilots hit top of the charts propelling Lollapalooza as the Alternative Rock music festival.
The festival trends included ripped T-shirts and jeans, plaid flannels, motorcycle leather jackets, baby doll dresses, mismatched and oversized outfits. Teens dyed their hair red or blueish black; they wore tattoo chokers, mood rings, and butterfly clips.
Coachella (California 2016)
Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival started in 1993 when Pearl Jam who was boycotting Ticketmaster at the time chose to play at the Empire Polo Club in Indio California. The area soon became an ideal location to host outdoor concerts. Coachella is now one of the top music festivals in the world drawing top-notch musical artists such as Radiohead, Beck, Daft Punk, The Black Keys to list a few, as well as A-list celebrities and high-fashion brands.
Festival styles include fringes, 70’s boho dresses, bandanas, retro round sunglasses, chunky silver bangles and gemstone necklaces.