With all of the tie-dye, ikat and tribal prints hitting the runways over the last several seasons, I’ve been itching to do a report on hippy fashion from the source and breeding ground for this style: hippy music festivals.
You might think that hippies don’t care about fashion but think again. Some of the most creative forms of self-expression can be found at these events.
The last several years have shown a huge shift in style. Gone are the days of tie-dye t-shirts and twirl skirts, the hippies of today have a much more urban and edgy style. Granted: one will still catch a waft of burning sage and everything else you might expect at a music festival but don’t think you will be walking though a shuffling crowd of smelly, unshowered, strung out, long haired kids.
Quite the opposite, in fact. This weekend, I went to one of the more traditionally “crunchy” of the Northern California Music Festivals: The Harmony Festival where I saw classic reggae band, Steel Pulse and a more contemporary Reggae band called Slightly Stoopid.
There were very few longhaired hippies and tie-dye was far and few between. You are more likely to see clean shaved skaters on a skate board ramp than a writhing mass of sweaty bodies in a drum circle.
Clearly there is a trend towards Burning Man style (An event I have yet to go to but have on my bucket list) and I can only describe as “Mad Max” meets “Dangerous Liaisons”.
Several vendors peddled their wears of neutral colored canvas clothing, tailored in boudoir renaissance details. So, If you can imagine: A bustier made of olive drab cloth, worn with combat boots and yet polished off with a decidedly goddess-like feminine vibe.
I’d also describe the style as playful-fantastical-fantasy, where Technicolor dreams one only sees in movies are played out in reality.
While we may think that Paris and Milan inspire US fashion, I wonder if some of these free thinking hippies are more on the leading edge of fashion than we might guess?