For many, summer time is about afternoons spent at the beach and fun filled evenings at backyard BBQ parties. Although I enjoy a relaxed summer BBQ just as much as the next person, my true excitement surrounds the summer music festival circuit. Often referred to as “festival season,” summer is the prime time for outdoor music events. Along with my passion of the great music, notorious of these summer festivals, I recently developed an appreciation for the diversity of styles exhibited by my fellow concert go-ers. Once associated primarily with America’s hippie culture (ie: Woodstock,) music festivals now draw a much broader audience. As a result of the increased popularity of music festivals such as Coachella, Bonnaroo, and Lollapalooza in recent years, music festivals are no longer associated exclusively with America’s hippie culture. As was the case during the years of Woodstock, music festivals used to draw a much more niche crowd to the events. These days, music festivals encompass a variety of people and a wide range of styles. As a result, “festival fashion” has become a legitimate term within the fashion industry to describe the range of different styles exhibited by the unique crowds at these events.
Over spring break this year, I was lucky enough to attend South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, Texas; my first festival of the season! After attending many concerts and my fair share of festivals, I had no difficulty deciding what to pack for my trip. When picking an outfit, my first priority is always whether I will be able to dance freely in what I am wearing. With that said, I don’t dismiss all concepts of style and I still strive to express myself through the way I dress. While exploring the city of Austin and enjoying the great new music that SXSW had to offer, I could not ignore my fascination with the diverse street style that I observed at the event. Unlike my experiences at Bonnaroo, where the styles seemed more heterogeneous, with people dressed in bohemian style attire, the crowds at SXSW seemed to possess a unique sense of individuality and character.
As to be expected at summer concerts, most people were seen wearing sunglasses, however, I noticed a trend of small circular framed shades, a contrast to the over-sized styles of past few summers. Similarly, denim shorts are a hot commodity during the summer time regardless of the occasion. Coinciding with the popular trend of high-rise jeans and trousers featured throughout the spring runway shows, I observed an influx of high-waisted denim shorts while in Austin. Despite some adherence to the contemporary trends, I found that the the crowds at SXSW appeared to make daring and imaginative stylistic choices. Maybe it is because of the fantastic thrift stores all over Austin or because of the range of music genres attracting a variety of people. Whatever the reason was, I found it incredible that style rules didn’t seem to exist within the world at SXSW.