Festivals & Fashion 2016: Part 1

Festivals & Fashion 2016: Part 1

Dawn in Croatia in crochet.

As 2016 (finally) comes to a close, we’re taking a look back at the fashions that dominated festivals and underground music scene across the world this year. I was lucky enough to attend parties in Delhi, Sydney, London, Houston, St. Louis, and Ibiza, in addition to Defected Croatia, Dirtybird Campout, and Minimal Effort Halloween.


Festivals & Fashion 2016: Part 1

Janice’s outfit for Coachella.



I asked my friend Janice Thatch, graphic designer, photographer, and electronic music passionista, to come for a stroll along Melrose so we could check out current trends. Janice made appearances at Coachella, Hard Summer, Psycho Circus and Dirtybird Campout (where we met).



1. Boho is roots deeper into the festival scene.

Festivals & Fashion 2016: Part 1

A lace flared dress with lace-up split front and cuffed long sleeves. Shoes: burgundy platform velvet Jeffrey Campbells.

Kimonos, crochet, and flowing silhouettes are nothing new to California fashion. However, this style also made appearances at the parties I went to in every country. In the last year or two, we started to see a lot of fringe, distressed leather, luxurious materials, floral prints, and gauzy fabrics.

Festivals & Fashion 2016: Part 1

A sheer split-level flowing top with lace-front details from LF Outlet

This year however, I noticed that people are really searching for unique pieces that combine several of those attributes. Gauzy + flowy; velvet + intricate printing. The devil is most definitely in the details. We stopped at the LF Outlet, which offers outrageously good pricing from the well-regarded LF Stores. Items that retail for close to $200 are generally about $30 here. Here, you see the efforts of retailers today to outdo themselves in this trend.


Another shop we found on Melrose bringing those Grade-A Bohemian vibes was L.A. Rose Vintage Fashion. The pieces here are chosen with extreme care, and the prices are pretty standard for quality vintage. Janice fell in love with a white jacket featuring an embroidered jaguar on the back. There are furs, kimonos, and more to give you those care-free festival feels. Janice noted these looks were very popular at the festivals she attended. Paisleys, printed palazzo-style pants, and faded denims were ever-present. And oh course, we can’t forget about the Lennon-inspired, whimsical, and flat aviator sunglasses.

2. 90s comebacks aren’t fading any time soon. 

Festivals & Fashion 2016: Part 1

Plaid duster available at LF Outlet. Photo editing: Janice Thatch.

As a 32-year-old, it is very interesting to see my very first trend getting recycled. Does this mean I’m old? Probably. But I will say that the young’uns rocking this look do it way better than my awkward teenage self (I’ll spare you the photos). These looks infiltrated the mainstream and younger audiences at the music events I attended.

The infamous choker was standard, worn with baby-doll style dresses, metallic, and plaids on UK and US dance floors. Janice reports that holographic items, alien backpacks, bodysuits, and shaggy furs were present at most of the events she attended. Nasty Gal had tons of offerings in this department. In addition to a long-sleeve royal blue velvet dress that caught my eye, there was lots of black lace, studs, and Madonna-inspired bracelets decorating the walls of the flagship store.


At LF, Janice and I cooed over the metallic sneakers at the top of the page. We were also feeling this plaid duster. Janice reported lots of strappy, straight-lined maxi-dresses with double-slits at big at festivals this year.

3. Modern dark street-style remains king for the minimal crowd. 

Festivals & Fashion 2016: Part 1

Hyein Seo Vengance top, available at Wild Style. Photo credit: Janice Thatch.

Both Janice and I were drawn into Wild Style by its carefully curated street aesthetic. With brand new Yeezy boots and Latex MISBHV trenches, the creme-de-la-creme of trends were available. I probably only know about five men who would actually buy $645 boots, but damn…do they look good.

In our scene, there are lots of travelers and all-nighters, which means lots of bags. Their selection of mature, minimalist Y-3 bags caught my eye. For the ladies, I fell in love with the Hyein Seo Vengeance long-sleeve racer top, which would also be a great alternative to black-on-black daytime techno fun.

Festivals & Fashion 2016: Part 1

Take note, boys. Sam balances a great haircut and fashion-forward,but not overwhelming, choices. Photo credit: Janice Thatch.

Minimalist jewelry is key to adding depth and character to all-black ensembles, for both males and females.

While at Wild Style, we were admiring the fashion of one of the employees, Samuel Sorrels. His look was exactly what we had been seeing at minimal and techno parties across the country. Sorrels’ look kept the futuristic lines, but with a more tailored fit. As it turns out, Sorrels DJs under the name Surreal, spinning events like Underrated Presents‘ Clinic Wednesdays at Couture in L.A. It seems we had recognized one of our own.




This year’s looks haven’t strayed too far from the past few years, and have gained intricacy and sophistication. In Part 2 of Festivals and Fashion, Sorrels will provide an exclusive mix to listen to while you ponder your looks of 2017, as well as give us some insight on what he expects to be big next year.


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