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Thursday, April 9, 2015

Living Free: The Coachella Story

Free: not under the control or in the power of another; able to act or be done as one wishes

At the end of every weekly newsletter I send out, subscribe here if you haven't already, I end the email telling my readers to “Stay inspired, Live free”. The reason for this outside of it’s one of the things I strive to do in my daily life is that it is a four word summary of what fashion means to me. Fashion as an expression of personality and dreams through clothing is ultimately a source to inspire and be inspired as well as a means to live free from societal norms and just do your own thing. I love the way fashion gives you that power to choose how you will present yourself and in constantly learning about fashion I find that I become inspired by the choices others have made in what they wear to express themselves. These two ideas of being inspired and living free couldn’t be more relevant to the way festival goers attending this year's Coachella Festival will approach their fashion choices and use what they wear to freely express who they are, which is incredibly inspiring.

Coachella Valley Music Festival 2013
Coachella started in 1999 by Paul Tollett, president of Goldenvoice Productions, the promotion company that started and currently stages the annual Coachella Valley Music Festival. Tollett started the festival after promoting for a Pearl Jam concert that was held in 1993 at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California and realized that this venue would be a great place to host a major music festival. Six years later Tollett brought Coachella to the 78-acre grounds although people were initially cautious of him wanting to create this festival when the infamously destructive and dangerous Woodstock ’99 had just taken place months before. Tollett was able to overcome these notions by promoting Coachella as the anti-Woodstock festival and proving how Coachella would be safe and more focused on fun then damage. After 16 years, Coachella has become the most profitable music festival in America and has inspired the creation of other festivals around the country such as Lollapalooza, Made in America, and The Governor’s Ball. Coachella initially went through many ups and downs trying to gain consistency in music sales as well as finding the formula of how many days and acts to include to provide the most value for festival attendees, but by 2010 when Jay-Z headlined the event the tide began to turn.

H & M x Coachella Collection
In 2012 the festival completely exploded with tickets selling out in less than three hours, this was also the first year that Coachella expanded the festival to two weekends of completely identical concerts. In 2014 and 2015 the general admission tickets sold out in less than 20 minutes. The hype of the festival has influenced the fashion industry significantly making the bohemian trend more of a spring mainstay with new fashion items becoming popular each year as they relate to the festival. Every year in their April look book Free People, a brand that has always embraced boho chic dressing makes a special effort to promote looks perfect for a festival. H & M, a Coachella sponsor since 2009, collaborated with the festival this year to create a collection of merchandise labeled with the Coachella name and inclusive of festival fashion trends such as lace, crop tops, acid wash denim, and maxi dresses. Throughout the two weekends many fashion brands such as Guess, Madewell, Rachel Zoe, Mara Hoffman and more will host events outside of the festival grounds in neighboring Palm Springs adding an air of luxury and style to the party weekends.

At Coachella you're encouraged to be yourself, wild and free, and fashion commands the same individualism. It's why I love it because the best of fashion is an expression of individuality rather than conformity.

Would love to know what fashion item you own or wish to own that makes you feel the most free?

For me it'd have to be my “ Freedom” shirt with fringe that I got for 4th of July last year, just because it was fun and so appropriate for celebrating Independence Day.  

Me in Miami, July 4th, 2014

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