The Bad Fashion of Coachella 2019

The Bad Fashion of Coachella 2019

In fashion, there is the so-bad-it’s-good — like a Versace baroque print shirt, a Canadian tuxedo or even the latest obsession with Birkenstocks and Tevas.

And then there’s the just plain bad. Most of what the attendees of Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival’s first weekend wore fell into this latter category.

Not that it’s their fault. Since the dawn of Instagram (way back when in 2010), the 19-year-old festival has become a beacon for social-media-induced FOMO (“fear of missing out,” now an outdated term but an idea that continues to persist) and the look-at-me fashion that inevitably spawned from it.

For Coachella festivalgoers, getting dressed means combining attention-seeking one-upmanship (which rules street style) with the millennial ethos of nostalgia. It takes its shape in the fringe, denim and, yes, flower crowns that harken back to the perceived hippie styles of Woodstock and Isle of Wight festivals. But it’s also about ’90’s-era childhood items that give a sense of comfort — even if they look insanely ugly. What is most often left out of this equation is an actual sense of personal style, the kind that can make a bad outfit look interesting.