Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Tune in, Turn on, Dress Up

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Tune in, Turn on, Dress Up

Article excerpt


WHAT do you wear to a festival? Your yuckiest jeans? Your oldest trainers? The jumper your dog uses as a blanket?

Absolutely not, sweetie. Not unless you want to be sneered at by the festival fashion police. Don't be fooled into thinking that festivals are all about keeping it real and getting down with nature (man) - they're all about showing off. Yes, you go to hear your favourite bands, but music and style have always been inextricably linked, and it's naive to pretend otherwise. A friend of a friend of a friend recently called in a whole new designer outfit for Homelands ("call in" is what fashion people do when they don't want to pay for something they'll only wear once), even though it was held in a muddy field where the virtues of his Jil Sander bobble hat were well and truly lost. So, in fact, was the hat - somewhere in a field in Hampshire. Or maybe it was Winchester.

Last weekend's Essential festival, held at Hackney Marshes, was full of more poseurs than a Strokes gig. As festivals become ever more corporate, their carpeted, super-deluxe VIP areas grow apace. If you spend the whole evening cosseted in the "guest arena", you can wear your favourite clothes without worrying about the mud and dodgy Portaloo detritus which affect the poor peasants outside. Hardly what we'd call participating, but possibly the only option if your clothes are dry-clean-only. Glastonbury may have taken a holiday, but there's still plenty of open-air action to be had before the "summer" ends. Knebworth, Reading, V2001, the Big Chill and Creamfields all present the perfect opportunity to drink beer and smoke fags in the open air under the illusion that you're being healthy.

So what's the festival look to aim for this summer? People are still rocking the pin-badge look, the novelty T-shirt look, the stripy jumper look and the obligatory Converse All Stars.

We say: go beyond this paradigm of the overgrown schoolgirl/schoolboy.

Go hippy. Try a waistcoat, a pair of espadrilles, a stripy shirt, a billowing blouse and a bandanna.

Blokes should look like Bob Dylan and girls like Janis Joplin. …

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