Festival Dressing Inspiration From Some of Fashion's Brightest New Talents
Yao Yao Swarovski International Fashion Show
Glastonbury has happened so we’re now officially in the throes of festival season. And that means it’s time to talk about festival fashion. However, rather than forcing you to read about waterproofs and flower crowns we thought we’d find some alternative perspectives for anyone hitting up Secret Garden Party, Obonjan island or Bestival this year. And what better inspiration for cool and creative festival wear than the product of some of the UK’s finest young fashion minds: the 2017 crop of graduates.
This year’s graduate collections embraced bold shapes and oversize silhouettes, wild colours and endless textures – definitely the kind of details that could distract from the three-day unwashed hair and a glitter-stained dark circles of Festival Lyfe. You may not be able to buy these outfits yet (although if you ask nicely you might get lucky) but five days in a field is the perfect time to experiment with style so get inspired by these looks and let your creative juices fly.
From hem detailing to head to toe designs, this year’s graduates created styles with enough dramatic wave to make you look distinctly unruffled during your festival experience, even in an hour-long shower queue. The patchwork prints on Nicole Duse-Anthony’s dresses, for example, were super fun and sunny, vibrant with creativity and the ruffled detailing adding texture and three-dimensional layers.
Elisha Bharaji and Elizabeth O’Connor from Birmingham University went for oversized stiff ruffles in metal shades for their collections – ideal if you want drama but not necessarily too much bold colour in your festival attire. Bharaji’s sheer top with a high ruffled neckline is a particularly perfect lesson in how to make an impact in a look that is barely there.
Bomber jackets have become a festival staple and Jessie McEwan used layers of multi-shaded ruffles to re-imagine this classic look. The ruffles created an exaggerated silhouette, half statement, half pure saccharine feminine wiles, with the sweet shop shades bringing the sunshine feel.
The optimists among us are probably set for sleeveless festival weather but do you know how cold it can get in a field in England at night in July? Given the highly likely scenario that sleeves will be necessary at some point we say celebrate them and make a fashion statement at the same time. Inspiration comes via De Montfort University’s Sophie Lock who created asymmetric flared sleeves in fresh shades that looked effortlessly ethereal. We also thought Kelly Attenberger’s mustard floor length cardigan - with its bold trumpet sleeves and slouchy glamour would be the perfect kind of pick me up for the morning after the Stone Circle the night before.
Of course, if you’re determined to bring serious drama to your festival dressing this year, take your inspo from Eleanor Bandey’s giant ruched mesh sleeves. They may limit your tent maneuverability but their glorious excess is perfect for hedonistic festival days. We say wear a top like this with bikini pants and nothing else.
Festival fashion wouldn’t be complete without a nod to the barely-there trend that we all embrace after a couple of days on a liquid (cider) diet. If skin and glitter alone are just a little too revealing for you then be inspired by the creative graduate designs that innovatively combined cut out and cover up. For inspo see Alice Henfrey’s two-tone florescent bodies with sporty aesthetic and flesh flashing design.
Prefer florals to sleek and sporty? Then let Georgia Lockett’s white co-ord with large flower embellishments guide you to some delightfully girly outfit choices with a clean and contemporary edge. These days nothing says festival-ready fashion quite like a bralette and super short shorts, so soak up the vitamin D and enjoy the freedom.
Big, bold accessories were another prominent feature of the graduate shows - think platform shoes, huge hoops and statement headgear, the extras that should be on everyone’s festival fashion ‘get’ list.
Visors and bucket hats might fill you with trepidation but, you don’t have to end up looking like a Britpop relic or Jane Fonda. Take Ellie Carless’ hat with its scalloped edges and cool pastel shades, for example, a luxe take on the bucket hat if ever there was one. The there’s Alexandra Henshall’s visors, which combined classic monochrome polka-dots with coloured stripes and oversize hoops for a totally contemporary look with just the right balance of retro.
Festivals are always a challenge for those who love their heels – even the priciest stilettos don’t work on grass (or mud). Platforms are, of course, the perfect solution and these made numerous appearances in this year’s graduate collections. This shoe inspo is ideal for festival foot solutions - you don’t have to lose height, even in the mud. We spotted piles of them backstage at the Brighton show, including platform sneakers adorned with studs and ribbons.
Of course festival fashion is just as much about how you feel in something as how you look. Our advice? For maximum aesthetic enjoyment, whatever festival look you opt for this season, make sure it's as loud as the music.
Written by Elizabeth Kennedy and The Glass Pineapple