Is Fashion the New Face of Coachella?

Photo by Jackie Samuelsen

At least four dozen Chapman students plan on attending Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival this year in Indio, CA, which has shifted its attention from music to fashion of performers and attendees.

The festival began in 1999 and lasted two days with about 72 musical acts; it has since expanded to last Coachella lasts two three-day weekends with over 100 musical acts. As the festival transformed into a cultural phenomenon, Coachella became more of a fashion show than anything else. Celebrities and festival-goers alike post their outfits on Instagram like clockwork and clothing stores create lines just for the bohemian music festival.

CocoRose, a local boutique in the Old Towne Orange, is hosting an event called Coco Coachella on Saturday, April 7. Courtney Colleary, owner of CocoRose, says that festival season is even bigger than the holidays for the shop. She has customers who come in annually and buy outfits for all three days of the festival from CocoRose.

This is CocoRose’s third year hosting the event. Colleary decorates the parking lot behind the store with Coachella-themed gear to attract its clients. CocoRose supplies food, drinks, goodie bags, live music, and a photo backdrop.

 “People spend $300 to $400 on Coachella tickets, and then spend hundreds more on outfits for the festival,” Colleary said. “The fashion is very important.”

Chapman University junior Emma Bottger is drawn to Coachella for the music and overall experience. She believes it is more than just a concert and says music is her biggest motivator; however, the fashion stays relevant.

“I think that fashion is huge part of Coachella and probably one of the most expensive aspects of the entire weekend,” Bottger said. “It’s a weekend that most people feel that they can go all out and dress in something that they wouldn’t wear out to the mall.”

Fashion may not be high on the radar to some Chapman students, but even so it is imbedded so heavily into the culture that it is impossible to ignore.

Colleary noted that the big trends for this years’ festival are bandana prints, studded belts, high-waisted shorts, and sheer dresses with bathing suits underneath.

The internet has exploded with bohemian fashion chic for the 2018 season. Floppy hats, scarves, flower head pieces along with floral prints are seen in a great number of pictures and advertised in stores.

Chapman University junior Kylee Garfield has attended Coachella four times, going on five this year. In addition to looking forward to acts such as The Weeknd, SZA, Portugal the Man, and Tyler the Creator, Garfield attests that fashion is the second most important part of Coachella.

“The festival is filled with fashion parties like Revolve and photographers taking pictures for their blogs or magazines,” Garfield said. “I also enjoy looking at Instagram and seeing what everyone is wearing.”

Along with Garfield, sophomore Shelby Seth is also looking forward to seeing SZA, an upcoming artist that hit it big time on the music scene recently. This is Seth’s first year attending Coachella, but she’s already aware of the fashion she will witness.

“Fashion definitely plays apart in Coachella,” Seth said. “Along with listening to music, seeing other people’s outfits is a main part of what makes Coachella so fun! A lot of unique street styles at Coachella help designers pick trends for the upcoming season.”

This year, Coachella will be held April 12-15 and April 20-22. Tickets are sold out for both weekends, but the fashions inspired by the festival can still be spotted all over Chapman.

Jackie Samuelsen

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