Ground-sweeping, colorful flowy skirts and halter dresses are festival fashion favorites for summer ’09, but gym shorts with white piping and cowboy or slouchy boots made popular in ’08 are still a popular combo.

Story and Photos by Kathleen Gasperini

With the kick-off of music festival season now underway starting last weekend with the Coachella Music & Arts Festival April 17-19, in Indio, CA, there are plenty of indicators that show crossover is now the norm. Of course the fashion found at Coachella does reflect the kind of music presented and their corresponding fans, but when you’ve got a mixed bag ranging from Morrissey Goth-types (and The Cure), to ravers there to see MSTRKRFT and Plumb DJ’s, and all sorts of indie rockers for The Kills, Yeah Yeah Yeah’s, and No Age, you’re going to end up with an eclectic audience.

Each year however there are certain take-aways to note as leading indicators of the next direction of fashion. As we constantly point out, fashion trends in youth culture typically come from the streets -or in this case, the festival fields -meaning that mixing of genres, eras, and crossover of costumes (manga/anime inspired) isn’t that unusual for youth culture markets who are more experimental about their style. Today, this is the inspiration that is often picked up by designers. From vintage cowgirl dresses bedazzled with punk-pink striped hair, to cut-off white denim jeans and Alice bands, to long flowy hippie dresses and oversized fringe bags, to boots and onesies, high-waisted short shorts and shimmer one-piece dresses, the fashion this summer is going to be bright, fun, exciting, and a mix of genres, eras, and what was once considered even make-believe.

The Indie Couple. Typical with skinny denim, over-sized T-shirt and scarf on her and short-sleeved button down on him. Converse sneaks, indie asymetrical hair and big-framed sunglasses.

For guys, indie hairstyles are in, but so is slicked-back boyish looks and vampire-white skin. Bright shades, but preferably white, as well as skinny denim and button-down short-sleeved shirts.

Accessories such as colorful tights, long multiple necklaces, fringe bags, slouch boots with pulled-up colorful socks, and self-made studded Converse sneaks are in. Colorful neon and shimmer make-up isn’t all that unusual now, especially mixed with headbands, braids, bangs, long hair, and feathers.

Here’s the latest fashion report from Coachella.

Yeah Yeah Yeah’s Karen O made a major fashion statement. Wild tights, gold lame, and shimmer glove, and neon make-up, plus studded Converses which we saw frequently. Many of Karen O’s costumes are created by Christian Joy from Brooklyn.

Lucent Dossier performer in costume, but her feather headdress, make-up, and green and gold top weren’t that out of the ordinary as costume fashion moves mainstream.

Grey, long dresses, feathers, and black straw fedora. The fabric is something to note also.

Braids and long hair are popular. Also, she’s wearing a one-piece shimmer dress which is also a growing trend and a throw-back to the ’80s.

Dancers at Coachella completed their styles with accessories mostly, including belly-dancer shawls, skirts, bra-tops, and of course topped with head accessories.

Feathers and feather headdresses were for sale and created a massive buzz. Expect feathers everywhere this summer, along with fedoras and white sunglasses. There’s definitely a Native American Indian vibe moving forward which matches streetwear’s new patterns of Navajo prints.

Feathers, costume-y performance make-up, tights, and onesies or one-piece shorts

Fringe suede bags are popular as well as fanny packs.

Goth-ravers chilling before the sunset shows start up. Note the colorful hair, gold tights, neon, and leopard prints. High boots in suede and lame are also a new favorite.

More ground-grazing flow dresses in bright colors (and corresponding shades)

Multiple long necklaces and charms with personal meanins, keys, hearts, and elephants are important pieces.

Backshot of a shorts overall or onesie. Plenty of these in bloomer-type bottoms in bathing suits also. He’s wearing the must-have white sunglasses.

Cut-off white denim shorts and denim shorts overall are popular, as well as high-waisted shorts. Alice bands, long hair, and the beaded Indian belt in turqoise completed one outfit.

Beautiful people at Coachella

Typical Sahara tent girls in solids and/or neon patterns in shorts and short dresses, with oversized sunglasses and wide belts. Both looks while different, are emblematic of summer ’09

Final shot of Karen O’s studded leather jacket. This required hundreds of studs which designer Christian Joy created. There’s a growing subculture for studded jackets to the extreme again, including bright-colored inside linings.