As I mentioned last week, I was given the incredible opportunity to attend Coachella thanks to Amex- (I’m one of the bloggers on their advisory board for the new Zync card and they had a booth set up in the vip area to introduce people to the card). Coachella is famous not only for their consistently incredible lineup, but for attracting some of the most stylish people from near and far. Being surrounded by my two greatest loves- music and fashion- for three days strait was my nirvana. And then getting VIP access and an air conditioned Amex booth with musicians coming and going for interviews all day just orbited the experience to a whole new level.
I would be remiss if I didn’t share my first Coachella experience, so read on for my show highlights and roundup of he key festival trends.
My first time at Coachella was kind of like my first time at Fashion Week: I was determined to see as many shows as humanly possible and was riding high off adrenaline and extreme excitement which kept me going when I should have long since been out of fuel. There were some blah performances, but a lot of brilliant ones to balance that out. In a nutshell, here are the standouts:
Igly & Hartly was phenomenal. I’m still reeling over their insane energy which had everyone dancing up a storm despite the sweltering heat. And Yeasayer... wow is all I have to say. I am a huge Yeasayer fan but in all honesty, I didn’t think their very cool, but kind of complicated, musical sound would translate well onstage. Suffice to say I was wrong. That show was definitely one of the most fun out of all of them, no easy feat! Other standouts when it came to delivering awesome dance parties were Julian Casablancas, LCD Soundsystem, and the Gorrilaz, all of which are on my “must see again” list.
I also got the chance to check out Steel Train. I actually went to high-school with some of the guys in the band and hadn’t seen them perform since then. They honestly blew me away, their energy and presence was just incredible. Good music can only take you so far, it’s the energy that really counts when it comes to delivering an amazing live performance. Speaking of which, Vampire Weekend also killed it and were much better live than I thought they’d be. MGMT, however, fell very flat. Everyone was super stoked for that show but I knew better, having seen them 2 years ago. Their performance was just….lifeless.
And my beloved Spoon. They were simply unbelievable. What amazes me about them is that their live performances sound like recording, everything is just so perfect and precise. It really is mind-blowing. Ditto for Muse, their performance was amazing and converted any Muse nay-sayers in the audience into die-hard fans.
I was also presently surprised by Grizzly Bear. I am a huge fan, but was dubious as to whether they’d be able to put on a good live show, one that showcased their perfect harmonies and haunting melodies. Well I was wrong again and they had me entranced and enraptured throughout their set. Other amazing performances that were on the ‘chill side’ included Thom York (although it wasn’t so chill when he performed some Radiohead tunes which cause the crowd to erupt!), Portugal The Man, and The XX.
Oh, and i can’t forget about Jay-Z. True, it was kind of random for him to be there, but he really delivered. He seriously played every single hit he’s ever had (quite a vast list to say the least), as well as some new tracks. He kept it going and kept his energy up even though his voice was totally shot by the end. The best part, of course, was his lady, Beyonce, coming out at the end to sing “Forever Young.” Definitely a magical moment.
The underlying theme seemed to be boho flower child meets punk-rock princess- think ethereal pieces toughened up with edgy accessories. The styles were laidback and relaxed but still a bit daring and experimental. Some of the standout pieces were:
Lace up boots: From Doc Martens to distressed combat boots to studded styles, lace up boots were all over the Coachella fields and were paired with everything from cut-offs to dresses to rompers to frilly skirts.
Dr. Martens Boots, $114
Fanny Packs: The fanny pack was a key item at Coachella, probably for its practicality. I know this item is most closely associated with tourists and grandmas, but when done right, I have to say, it can look kind of awesome.
French Connection Edelweiss Fanny Pack, $58.
Cross-body bags: Beating the fanny for most popular bag was the cross-body. Cross-body bags are super convenient and way easier to wear than an over-the-shoulder style. I am officially a cross-body addict and have been so spoiled by the comfort they provide that my shoulder bags have remained untouched for months!
Asos Ash Daisy Leather Mini Cross Body Bag, $200.
Floral rompers: Rompers are still going strong and the print du jour seems to be floral. Pair is with a fedora, cross-body, and cool sandals and you are good to go!
Arden B Floral Ruffle Front Romper, $49
Ruffled skirts: Cute, ruffled, tiered skirts were all over the place, styled with anything from vintage-looking tees to basic tanks top embellished tops.
Express Cotton Voile Ruffled Mini Skirt, $39.50.
Lace tops: Lace was all over the place but got a cool makeover, turning from prime and pretty to edgy and daring. the lace tops at Coachella were oversized, sheer, or cropped and had an undone, slightly tattered quality to them. Lace paired with distressed cut-offs was the standout winning combo.
American Apparel Jacquard Lace Tee, $38.