06.10.2015

Style squads: festival

The season's freshest fashion caught on our camera

Words: Cayleigh Bright | Photography: Nick Gordon

Festival style is not street style. The clue's in the name. Stay with me: thanks to the fact that there are no streets on which to parade these looks, they're a little different to what would be spotted at, say, a fashion week. For all the posing, there's also got to be a little practicality involved, or sweat, chafing and some sort of ankle injury will be as inevitable as mild panic when you think you've forgotten your ticket but actually haven't. Maybe this extra factor in the outfit-planning process is why festivalgoers tend to choose looks that are entirely unlike their own style – or perhaps it's a genuine desire to let loose and forget everyday life. One way or another, by the time attendees make it through the first security check at their party of choice, they're pretty much transformed.

We hit the fields to take a look at this year's fashion, anti-fashion, and everything in-between – because there's more to it than flower crowns. Where do you fit in? 

70s

It makes a lot of sense that one of the most popular styles spotted at festivals would be modelled on the era that gave us the culture of standing in fields watching bands. After Woodstock, the world realised it was onto a good thing, and along came tour busses, groupies and a whole of life to be lived on the road. A key feature of this look is the luxe factor, so whether you're sliding into a sleek jumpsuit or draping yourself in a faux fur coat like Robyn's, you'll probably want to accessorise with the attitude of a rockstar demanding her backstage rider. 

Theme song: 'Heart of Glass' by Blondie. 

On-screen inspo: Almost Famous

Old-school icon: Farrah Fawcett

Right-now icon: Zoe Saldana 

The essentials: A faux fur coat to get you through the chilliest of nights, no matter how late your favourite band is playing. 

Don’t do this: Now is not the time to go full Studio 54 – leave the platform boots at home unless you have better balance than most. 

Athletic-inspired

Can you kick it? Yes, you can. Sports luxe is back for a new season, and it's looking good enough to win gold but losing the chains and glitter. Pull on favourite pieces with a pared-back aesthetic, then give your look a twist: Veda goes all Kylie Jenner by pairing her Nike with adidas, while Imraan keeps things close to home in a white-on-white Young and Lazy look. 

Theme song: 'Sweatpants' by Childish Gambino

On-screen inspo: The Royal Tenenbaums; actual sports

Icon: Jourdan Dunn 

The essentials: Backpack, beaters and a sweatshirt to pull on when the night gets cooler. Crop top optional.

Don’t do this: Wear your freshest white sneakers to a festival. Just trust us on this, okay?

Denim

Cut-off shorts aren't the only way to wear denim to a festival. Cropped and faded alike, denim jackets are ready to keep out the chill, while jeans are making an appearance in every form from clean-cut to sliced-up. We liked the low-slung, ripped-to-pieces jeans that Kaylyn paired with a patterned crop, and Marí's simple high-waisted jeans with their bold belt. 

Theme song: ‘Blue Jeans’ by Lana del Rey

On-screen inspo: Thelma & Louise

Icon: Kate Moss

The essentials: The options are pretty endless. Get started with your favourite jeans, the shortest shorts that the elements allow for, and a denim jacket. Oh, and denim moonbags are pretty big right now. 

Don’t do this: One piece of denim? Jeans and a chambray shirt? You go, cowgirl! Three? More? Slow your ponies, my homie.

New Bohemian

There's more to this look than a crocheted crop and maxi skirt accessorised with bare feet and a copy of ShantaramJonelle's multi-patterned onesie is a look all on its own, so she keeps the accessories simple with sneakers, a minimal choker and sunglasses. Dominique goes all out in white-on-white-on-white – and a guest appearance by vintage-look leather accessories. 

Theme song: 'Go Your Own Way' by Fleetwood Mac

On-screen inspo: Taking Woodstock

Old-school icon: Stevie Nicks

Right-now icon: Gigi Hadid

The essentials: Paisley and floral. Fringed accessories.

Don’t do this: There are a lot of elements to this trend, and absolutely no need to wear them all at once. If paisley, fringed accessories, faded denim, crochet, a kimono, an oversized hat and layered jewellery are all on your person, you may need to rethink your look. Three of those? It’s all good.

90s nostalgia

Nowadays, it feels like everyone needs a reminder that not everything about the 90s deserves to be missed: dial-up modems and the Discman led to some dark times, my friend. When it came to style, however, it was a lot of fun – an 'anything goes' kind of decade that we're happy to welcome back in 2015.

Theme song: 'Just a Girl' by No Doubt

Old-school icon: Chloë Sevigny, Courtney Love or a Spice Girl 

Right-now icon: Chloë Sevigny or Rihanna

The essentials: Something vintage and lots of prints and/or colour.

Don’t do this: Try to model your look on any one part of the 90s. This is the decade that gave us grunge and The Spice Girls in music, Kids and 10 Things I Hate About You in film... You can expect its style to be just as diverse. 

Soft goth

We had to get a little creative with the naming of this trend. After all, the blazing heat of a festival is not conducive to full goth get-up, and the pieces going into these looks were a little too floaty and romantic for that term – but come on, do you think that you just throw a little lace at us and we go and call a look 'Dark Romance', like it's a limited edition Magnum or a shade of Free2BU nailpolish? Basically, this look is achieved by wearing black-on-black, playing with texture to keep things interesting – Elsje layered on the lace, while Mieke went for a sheer shirtdress and brocade bag. She also wore jewel stickers on her knee, which brings us to an important point: that this look is best worn by flawlessly, unflappably cool girls who won't work up a sweat when the temperature rises, the bathroom queues grow, or her nice boyfriend accidentally loses the keys to the tent lock/car.

Theme song: ‘Paint it black’

On-screen inspo: The Craft

Icon: FKA Twigs

The essentials: Chokers, lace and leather.

Don’t do this: Trying too hard is a serious ‘no’.

Twinning

Sounds cringey in theory, looks pretty cute in practice. Aimee and Moira pulled on the same playsuits with accessories to make their looks their own. Keane and Dylan matched up their prints and their popsicles, but chose different colours to make things easier for anyone having the "Remember that guy wearing palm print with palm print?" conversation later. "Which guy wearing palm print with palm print?" goes the next part of the dialogue. "The blue palm print on palm print!" Problem solved. Thanks guys. 

Theme song: ‘Doing it’ by Rita Ora and Charli XCX

On-screen inspo: Dionne and Cher in Clueless.

Icon: Kiernan Shipka and Chloe Grace Moretz in the front row at the Coach S/S16 show.

The essentials: 1x bestie, plus a shared sense of style – and humour. 

Don’t do this: Is your name Jonno? Is your best friend's name JP? Are you leaving res at 5am to sell Sax Appeal? If you answered 'no' to one or more of the previous questions, there is no need to match up exactly. The objective is not to confuse people like you’re the Sweet Valley Twins, so wear the same look in different colours or change up the accessories.