The Evolution of Festival Fashion: Coachella Valley’s Impact

Daring to Dress Your Best in the Desert

By: Veronica Pistek

The ideal Coachella Instagram post. (Credit:

Music is no longer the main focus of Coachella’s annual attendees.

Ever since capturing “instagrammable” and “picturesque” moments have become the backbone of our everyday millennial lives, the music takes a backseat to the images of the concert.

Whether we are waiting for Vanessa Hudgens to post her bohemian-princess outfit or the Kardashian family’s iconic looks, it is undeniable that Coachella has provided the rest of the nation with fashion inspiration.

Since 1999, Coachella has been an annual “Woodstock-influenced” festival in Indio, California. The last 19 years of this festival have provided the world with nostalgia-filled, vintage-inspired outfits, bold aesthetics, and the ultimate commercialization of the indie look.

The romanticized idea of living in a desert community free from stress has been transformed into a physical style. The flower child look, the hippie attire, and the bohemian dress are just a few of the general styles that people began to associate Coachella Valley with.

Let’s begin with the California’s most influential celebrities. Who hasn’t admired the effortless glamour of celebrities throughout the years?

No one has been able to outdo Vanessa Hudgens.

This Coachella icon has since grown out of the high school musical era and moved into crop tops, flower crowns, body jewelry, and tie dye patterns.

Since the brink of our social media-driven society, Hudgens has graced us with even more bohemian looks: hair feathers, high waisted shorts, colored locks, and tribal patterns.

Setting the precedent back in the early 2000s, celebrities and even just typical Coachella-lovers have jumped on the indie-inspired wave.  

Throughout the evolution of our generation, these desired styles have been shared by countless platforms and fashion industries. As a result, Coachella style transformed from representing hippie culture, to now becoming a symbol of ours.

In past years, Coachella outfits were seen as vintage and glamorous‒only to be worn at such festivals. Nowadays, a girl that walks down the street in a pair of circle sunglasses and a crochet crop top is just another casual sighting.

Our culture has been driven by styles that become commercialized, especially when worn by Hollywood’s hottest influencers.

Anyone that has any connection to WiFi on their wireless device has seen the widespread pressure for festival-goers to look picture-perfect.

Not only is Kylie Jenner and her best model friends editing their pictures to have perfect lighting to show off their bold outfits, but average Instagram users feel the need to have flawless photos in front of the big ferris wheel.

Some have argued that Coachella used to be a place for freedom of expression. Now, festival-goers are less concerned with the desert-musical experience, and more focused on what they are going to share across their social-media blogs.

Not only has the focus shifted from music to style, but now major brands are looking to profit from popularized events like this.

Brands like Forever 21, Revolve, and ASOS have boosted their marketing and promotion by throwing exclusive pool parties, having their attendees post sponsored outfits on platforms such as as Instagram, and ultimately racking up thousands of likes and traffic to their websites‒all to boost their sales.  

Though this commercialization might decrease the values of freedom and nature that Coachella originally intended to exemplify, there is definitely an interest from the people scrolling from their beds at home.

While these people are blogging breathtaking images, average dreamers are wishing that they were having a weekend filled with as much glitter as Coachella attendees are.

Though not everyone is into flowers, fringe, and frayed clothing, it is impressive how Coachella has had an impact on our millennial culture.

Festivals should continue to be an experience for you and a few friends to relax, enjoy some great music, and make some great memories.

So what if you cannot obtain the glamour that celebrities are flaunting online. Embrace your trendy outfit and share some desert selfies‒but don’t forget to cherish the freedom of expressing your truest self in a world filled of mainstream fashion.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.