Issue 10 / Festival Fashion Takeover

Festival Fashion Takeover

Aug 10, 2015

No longer just for the music scene, festival fashion is gracing runways around the world.

Music festivals of the 2010s are a far cry from the iconic 1969 Woodstock, vast-fields-and-picnic-blankets scene painted into history. Whatever type of music you like, you’re sure to find a festival — from country, to EDM, to jazz, to Bollywood and any fusion in between.  
Longstanding traditions like Milwaukee’s rock festival Summerfest (started in 1960s), Netherlands’ PINKPOP music festival (started in the 1970s) and Lollapollooza (from the 90s) to more recent additions like the eclectic Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Tennessee (started in 2002), the Darbar Indian music festival in London, U.K. (started in 2006) and the Sunburn Festival in Candolim beach, Goa India have a way of uniting people like no other phenomenon.
Originally meant to be celebrations of art and music, these and many more festivals have grown to be breeding grounds for popular culture. Just browse any social media outlets around Coachella to see how large of a crowd the festival draws. An estimated 32 million people go to at least one American music festival per year, according to, but is it all for the music?
Both Hollywood and Bollywood wouldn’t be the mega-machines that they are without permeating popular culture and influencing fashion. As musicians are always in the limelight, their fashion sense is often scrutinized and then emulated. In the same way that David Bowie and Cher were style icons of the 70s and the 80s, with people sporting fringes and bell-bottomed jeans, musicians today like Beyoncé and Honey Singh are setting the style standards across the globe with what they wear on and off duty.
Instagram and Twitter feeds reel from festival posts, but the snaps are largely focused on who’s wearing what, not who’s on the stage.
The “Festival Look”
What originated as a haphazard “Who cares, I’m probably going to get covered in mud” look has since evolved into a carefully curated, new-age bohemian style. The beauty of the music festival lies in the sensory overload — so many performers and attendees packed into one space, the perfect escapist’s musical paradise. This has parlayed into a fashion sense: channeling that jumbled Woodstock vibe, festival-goers today embrace the chance to wear ensembles that really never had a place anywhere else. Simultaneously deconstructing traditional fashion styles and pioneering new looks, this multi-genre fusion is rapidly gaining momentum. Building on a bohemian style, flowy skirts and crop tops became staples, alongside the notorious flower crown and loose flowing locks. As the festival look gains traction and becomes more mainstream, we’re beginning to see hints of Coachella, BollyBoom and Osheaga take shape on runways around the world.
Resort Collections Rejuvenated
The runway will always be a place for the bold and daring — high fashion is seldom functional. While resort collections tend to include flowing fabrics and more wearable pieces by nature, the 2015 spring shows had some beautifully eclectic pieces fit for the music scene.
Lakmé Fashion Week
Alan Alexander Kaleekal’s Summer 2015 collection of black and rich cream-coloured fabrics had a subtle, playful feel. Crop tops with sheer underlays gave the collection an edgy vibe that made it feel modern, while still being classically modest. The longer skirts had choppy panels cut into them, the slits going just beyond the knee, allowing for plenty of movement. This effortless movement is very reminiscent of the heavy ’70s fringe, without the bulky texture. The airy quality of the sheer panels mimics the festival feel of minimal clothing, while still maintaining a high level of sophistication.


Kaleekal by Alan Alexander – Summer/Resort 2015
Photo Credit: Images courtesy of Kaleekal by Alan Alexander


Shubhika Davda’s label Papa Don’t Preach was a beautiful splash of pastel colours in the Resort 2015 ensemble. Full of crop tops and minis, this collection is a testament to pioneering your own style. Using a variety of textures and embellishments, Davda’s garments scream personality and sass in the same way festivals beg to create a culture of their own. The beauty and intricacy of the individual elements of each outfit almost transcend the rebellious nature of the brand title itself. The synthesis of pop culture and ethnic roots create a modern, edgy look.


Papa Don't Preach by Shubhika Davda – Summer/Resort 2015
Photo Credit: Courtesy of and The LifeStyle Potpurri

Papa Don't Preach by Shubhika Davda – Summer/Resort 2015
Photo Credit: Courtesy of and The LifeStyle Potpurri

Divya Sheth’s summer/resort 2015 collection, was a botanical dream of '70s inspired designs of hand-printed tunics paired with hippy-length trousers in soft hues of blue and corals. While flowy maxis with layered hemlines brought out the flower power, wild child within.

Divya Sheth – Summer/Resort 2015 

Photo Credit: Images courtesy of Diva Sheth

Divya Sheth – Summer/Resort 2015 
Photo Credit: Images courtesy of Diva Sheth


World MasterCard Fashion Week
Hilary MacMillan’s Spring/Summer 2015 collection boasted long, flowing maxi and midi skirts and loose-fitting shift dresses, sported by models with long, loose waves to give an overall bohemian style. To contrast the ethereal, softer pieces, MacMillan’s collection also showcased bold pops of orange and turquoise, in the form, killer-patterned shorts and tailored pants, paired with a soft, sheer blouse. The hits of vibrant colour are a more refined approach to the ever-trendy neon, and an elegant way to incorporate a statement colour. Consider this controlled chaos.


Hilary McMillan – Spring/Summer 2015 
Photo Credit: Images courtesy of George Pimentel

Hilary McMillan – Spring/Summer 2015 
Photo Credit: Images courtesy of George Pimentel

New York Fashion Week
The DKNY Resort 2015 collection is quite possibly the epitome of fusing influences and styles, in the exact way a music festival brings together a vast melting pot of fans. Combining harder-edge punk elements, like high-top sneakers and leather jackets, with soft sheers and feathers, this black and white collection is a smorgasbord of fashion. The ad-hock, can’t-be-defined style has ironically become a style all of its own. The uniting theme is the monochromatic look of each outfit, and, of course, the confidence factor to pull off these fashion-forward frocks.

DKNY Resort 2015
Photo Credit: Images courtesy of


Nicole Lippay


Nicole Lippay is a Toronto-based freelance writer and editor. An adventurer at heart, she loves to travel. Seeing the world through the lens of fashion, she likes to keep up with global trends and pop-culture influences, and believes that those experiences make up your personal style.


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