Festival fantastic

From wonderful wellingtons to cut-offs, festival fashion has entered into the mainstream. Ahead of Electric Picnic, Annmarie O’Connor explores the latest trends.

IT WAS Coco Chanel who once said that fashion could be found in the sky and in the street. Little did the style savant know it would relocate to a muddy field.

Yes, festival fashion has officially ingratiated itself into the mainstream thanks to music-loving celebrities like Kate Moss and Rihanna, whose Glastonbury and Coachella visits are never without an attendant string of paparazzi.

Although utility staples like wellingtons, parkas and army jackets have become standard glam-ping fare, the everchanging roster of media faces has created unique style tribes, each setting their own trends.

No longer is it enough to brave the elements with a rain poncho and a dose of good humour, now it’s all about fielding the eyes of the fashion police.

With Electric Picnic just days away, how does one achieve the sartorial segue from peeing in a porta-loo to partying in the VIP area?

Best examine the tribal leaders. Take Kate Moss — the unofficial Grand Poobah of Glastonbury.

It was the Croydon catwalk queen who first sparked the trend for Hunter wellies and cut-off shorts paired with a laissez-faire military jacket. Since then, the denizens have co-opted the look starting a de facto New Model Army.

Fancy a soupcon of Gallic je ne sais quoi? Factor in a Breton top and over-the-knee socks à la Alexa Chung, making sure to swap that camouflage for a shoulder-draped biker jacket.

If your free spirit demands something more ‘summer of love’, look to Queen of Bohemia — Florence Welch. This indie chick prefers to rock out in diaphanous maxi dresses and love-worn ankle boots, often with gold lamé hot pants.

Granted the trousseau lends itself more so to an arid desert than sodden farmland but if freak downpours are a worry, make like Pixie Lott with an abbreviated hem. Just add a floral headband and toughen with a pair of biker boots.

‘Flower power’ looks set to stay thanks to the festival circuit’s iconic Woodstock roots. Broderie anglaise tops, crochet gilets, peace sign jewellery and Lennon-inspired sunglasses all make the grade.

Prefer a full-on garden party? Go for a Katy Perry interpretation with a guna that screams full bloom.

Follow suit with brothel creepers and artfully laddered tights to keep the look from veering into missing wedding guest territory.

If the thought of rubber soles or armed forces regalia leaves you cold, the Vintage Vixens led by burlesque artist Dita Von Teese should see that mercury rise. This tribe eschews all things ‘festival’ in favour or some Vargas Girl vava voom.

Think cropped tops and skater skirts, ditsy print dresses matched with ankle socks, sunnies and vintage hat.

These are the type of gals that have men queuing to whisk them over a puddle. Just ask Lana del Rey whose sultry LA noir style has made her a festival pin-up. Not too fond of the sexy? Kelly Osbourne’s quirky rockabilly touches make the trend more tent-worthy.

As style tribes go, no leader has quite the charge of Rihanna. The Bahamian beauty, known for her 90s rude girl style — is a relative newcomer onto the mud-soaked scene but has managed to inject some baroque n’ roll into the proceedings with her silk chain print bomber jackets, slogan crop tops, embellished hot pants and leopard print high tops. This is a look that demands a dance-off and won’t be happy until it has crowd-surfed at least once in the evening.

Given the high-octane nature of this clan, baseball hats are advised for keeping locks from looking locked, or at best a colourful wig for when the dry shampoo runs out. Cross-body or bum bags also make for hands-free fun, whilst doubling as handy repositories for baby wipes, cash and lipstick.

There you have it — the sartorial anthropology of the festival landscape. Whatever your tribal affiliations, rest safe in the knowledge that the Picnic’s Pamper Palace awaits you.

Should the heavens decide to smite your style choices, there are hair, make-up and nail stylists on call to get you camera-ready should Scott Schuman (sartorialist.com) be skulking around the tents. Now off to Stradbally! Your fashion tribe awaits you.

¦ Electric Picnic Aug 31- Sep 2; Stradbally, Co Laois; electricpicnic.ie


Much has been said about the perils of being stuck in the house 24/7, like family pets interrupting your important conference calls, your partner leaving their dirty dishes everywhere and the lack of respite from the kids.Silver lining: Seven enforced money-saving habits you might want to continue after lockdown

Put you and your loved ones' pop-culture knowledge to the test with Arts Editor Des O'Driscoll's three fiendishly fun quiz rounds.Scene and Heard: the Arts Ed's family entertainment quiz

A passion for heritage and the discovery of some nifty new software has resulted in an Irish architect putting colour on thousands of old photographs, writes Marjorie BrennanBringing the past to life

Richard Hogan, family psychotherapist, addresses a reader's question about life during lockdownHolding on: how to help your child through the crisis

More From The Irish Examiner