With all the tweets and status updates, PR pitches about God Knows What and Out Of Office auto-responses I’ve been getting due to Coachella rearing its musical head, it’s kinda all I can think about. The best part is that I don’t even know what it is.
Festival Fashion. Festival Fashion. What the hell does that even mean? “Get the hottest festival fashion!” Um, does that mean dress like a high school kid who found their mom’s Janis Joplin records in the garage along with her wardrobe from 1968? Because that’s what I think of as “festival fashion.” There also seems to be the largest quantity of cultural appropriation maybe ever in the festival scene. People seem to think that because they’re standing on real dirt with bare feet and taking DMT that they’re suddenly an ancient native. An ancient native that, four hours before arriving in their Honda Accord sedan, stopped by Forever 21 and Urban Outfitters to buy their “cultural appreciation” attire that has been through the hands of sweatshop workers, not to mention the the fact that you bought it is another success for right-wing, insane-faced CEOs like Richard Hayne.
Festival fashion is confusing.
I admit that Festival Fashion is probably not going to vanish immediately after I hit “publish” on this bad boy, but at least let’s agree (I’m addressing Festival Fashion, the entity, of course) to at least try to compromise…
If you’re going to rock multicultural fashions – fine. But make it authentic, and help it survive by buying it from artisans.
Buy your stuff from native artisans. Use amazing sites like Fashioning Change and NOVICA to rock the hippie look, but don’t give your money to fast fashion mega-stores. Find retailers that sell handmade pieces and be sure that the profits will at least partially go back to the village or program the artist is located in, or from. This sounds complex, but it’s not. There are stores everywhere devoted to this concept of fair trade and artisan craft preservation.
If you’re lazy (like we are), you’ll likely want a tidy list of really beautiful, multicultural fashion items that you could mix into your wardrobe for an eyebrow-raising accent, or pile it all on top of each other for our take on festival fashion.
These boots are made with batik cotton and upcycled Hmong fabrics in Thailand.
This shirt was created using traditional Indian block printing techniques in… well, India. (I really love this one.)
This gorgeous top is a product of Thailand, and is semi-sheer for those super-whimsical, mostly-see-through-shirt shots at sunset! Btu really, this top is 100% cotton, and exactly what I’d want to wear to an outdoor anything in summertime.