Bethel, NY. August 15-18 1969. They came half a million strong and music festivals would never be the same. A sense of optimism abounded, Jimi raged, and girls danced in fringe vests and indian gauze. But while the music has definitely changed, the fashion has not. My generation uses these summertime music festivals to express a borrowed nostalgia for the unremembered sixties. Hippie fashion has become the de-facto uniform for girls between the months of May and September.
But comparing the pictures from the 1969 Woodstock festival and the snapshots of Coachella, the girls today look like they are trying way too hard. It’s just that their outfits are too new, they have no sense of accident or history. The assymetric dress is the result of intensive trend forecasting and product development rather than an accident with a car door. Fringe and feathers have been exploited too much by fast fashion that it is doubtful that it will ever again feel sincere. What festival fashion could really use is a big unexpected downpour and three days of peace, love, and music.
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