The couture collections for fall are debuting in Paris this week, but we have already declared ourselves deceased after day one: Atelier Versace giving itself over to the festival fashion ideal and dropping straight Coachella bombs on the runway, complete with flower crowns.
Of course you can’t imagine anyone actually wearing diaphanous couture to a music festival—or can you? Here’s Alexa Chung in Chloé, here’s Katy Perry in Moschino, here’s Rihanna in Marques’Almeida, and the Tumblr “Socialites Wearing Impractical Designer Clothing at Music Festivals” does not yet exist (I searched) but if you want to make it, I will gladly become a patron.
As I have previously remarked, this style of festival fashion is an elaborate ruse to get us to buy into fantastical, context-scrubbed ideals of Woodstock and Laurel Canyon, this confounding post-hippie notion that going to expensive festivals somehow requires nubuck fringe in vest form. Or, in the case of Versace, midsummer night’s groovy goddesses, gliding down the runway in some fuglioso ensembles created to the high standards of the Fédération française de la couture.
It’s odd to think about, from a capitalist perspective, this glorified notion of a time and place that can never be recaptured—so specific was the convergence of people, sociological and political climates—being recreated by the use of signifiers, as thought the imagery was more important than the ideals. The concept (and impracticality) of mimicking these looks to go to festival in the desert with the admission price of nearly $1000 (cause if you’re wearing Chloé, you’re definitely going VIP) is more absurd every year, and it’s absurd that it made an impression on a storied (and loud!) a brand as Versace.
But of course, I’m not their target audience for this, though I generally like the brand and what it represents (PS: should I cop?). It will also be interesting to see some of these looks out of the runway context, and styled better—miss me with those platform boots—on a red carpet or a gala. Just don’t take any of this to Burning Man.
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