Coachella 2019: the Mournful Demise of the Summer Boho Chic

A dark silence has descended upon the land. No snaps, no stories, no scandal. We’ve reached the finale of the fashion event of April: Coachella 2019.

The Mount Olympus of festivals worldwide, Coachella promises each and every year to nonchalantly deliver the most thrilling and at times, controversial fashion choices gracefully draped upon the flawlessly tanned and impeccably toned bodies of our favourite celebrities. It is the only acceptable time to seriously dress as a hybrid comprising of one's inner chaotic toddler with a penchant for Crayola interior design and an early Kate Moss beach babe wannabe; Coachella both inspires and entertains faithful fashion followers worldwide. We may have been there, done that and seen the Beyoncé Netflix documentary but the essence of many stars' daring ensembles lingers on. It's time to take an honest look at just which princesses were the belles of the ball and which pumpkin picks were best left in the desert.

Making a bigger comeback than the Jonas brothers, the flamboyant 1960s tie-dye design was the undoubted pattern du jour. Recently adorning fashion queens following its momentous resurrection on March runways this year, the boisterous look was worn by many a Coachella reveller but conquered by few. To be worn with halcyon confidence, this look is best accessorised with a carefree smile. Cardi B's multicolour, tie-dye inspired shirtdress complete with matching hair and paired with strawberry trainers was, to say the least, intriguing. Its sugary composition teetered more on the dangerous side of diabetes than a saccharine guilty pleasure. The Louis Vuitton Printed Parka with gathered sleeves was perhaps best left for a more weather appropriate occasion. At the 'Super Bowl of Fashion', this look most definitely deserved to remain on the bench.

It was Gigi Hadid's unassuming Ganni tie-dye vest, exquisitely coupled with lilting white floral trousers and immense black combat boots, that provided the foundations for a psychedelically mesmerising collective. Assembling an aggregate of pop colour jewellery, including Susan Alexandra Smiley Cyrus Earrings and a stunning Jacquie Aiche Diamond Marquise Shaker Necklace, the supermodel's layered look demanded attention. Michael Kors once said that "Accessories are the exclamation point of a woman." In that case, no one can criticise Hadid's vivacious, valiant usage of punctuation.

“It is a truth universally acknowledged that rocking up at Coachella without fringes is tantamount to missing out on the festivities in the first place.”

This year, two talented ladies managed to inadvertently teach us the mystical ways of making fringe look flawless or a flop. As much as I am an admirer of Instagram sovereign, Shay Mitchell, I could not deny that her X Revolve Figaro Dress led her to assume a form more akin to The Gladiator's Russell Crowe than Winnie Harlowe. Mitchell has been known to faultlessly assemble a fun and feisty festival style ever since her first appearance at Coachella in 2014 (think vintage racetrack jacket, black crop top, denim shorts and matching hair accessories). However, her choice of a large golden waistband beneath black fringe disrobed her of femininity, which was not entirely in tune with the blithe atmosphere which a spring festival invites.

By contrast, Texan hats off to country queen, Kacey Musgraves, for restoring our faith in fringe. Delicately enveloped in a Balmain Fall 2015 bold orange dress, the singer's long-sleeved choice struck the perfect cadence between meek and mettlesome, with the fringe – again paired with a golden waistband – accentuating her petite frame while radiating her country origins. Musgraves followed up the look in the second set with an equally captivating suede Balmain ensemble, serving up a refreshing cocktail of individualism in a desert swamped with herd mentality fashion.

In the spirit of making one's mark upon the Coachella sands, one niche designer most definitely provided an oasis by which to escape the confines of the tyranny of boho festival summer chic. New York brand, Area, custom designed Katy Perry's bewitching, crystal-swathed, electric pink jumpsuit after the entertainer's management team reached out to the cult brand. No gifted products, no brand activations and no cash payouts, Area rises above the often misplaced authority of influencers, relying solely upon the merit of its products and the stimulus of social media. Representing the exhilarating growth of festival fashion from wholesome, floral crowned indie princesses to cultured, crystal tiara queens, Area continued to sprinkle its sophisticated sparkle at the festival.

The rather regrettably named 'Ling Ling' bag crafted by the brand added to the tasteful outfit worn by Kendall Jenner who, dare I say it, has seemed to welcome Klass to the Kardashian vocabulary. Pairing the crystal fringing box bag with a Dsquared2 Ruffle Blouse and matching military shorts, the 23-year-old model gave this sun-glinting purse the exposure it deserved. Conforming not to the monotony of vast expanses of bared flesh and leaving little to the imagination, Jenner's collaboration with Area again signifies the beginning of an era where fashion is defined not by the number of patterns one wears but by the content of one's mini dress. That is the face behind the fashion fad. The refined, guileless beauty of simplicity in this season's festival was further illustrated by the ensembles worn by Elsa Hosk, Jasmine Tookes and Georgina Fowler.

And there we have it. Tie-dye, Old Hollywood fashion and fringe fever- Coachella never ceases to amaze. As brightly spangled in charismatic couture as the calamitous neon which managed to rear its ugly head, Coachella's future comprises of delving even deeper into the past. Growing up and moving on from the generic boho look which all festivals have come to emulate, Coachella has cast away its adolescence. Instead, it is probing through the annals of fashion history to unearth eye-catching ensembles which inspire, unite and bring us out of the indecorous wilderness of crop tops, fedoras and Aztec prints. As Eva Mendes has sagaciously remarked: 'If you took me to Coachella for our first date, it would probably be a done deal. It would be a sure thing.' So let's start dressing like it; we wouldn't want to be making a bad first impression.


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