By Lauren Bravo on April 25th, 2010
Festival season is upon us again, and there’s a whole new wardrobe to be assembled before we descend on the fields. Here’s our ShinyStyle guide to the most fashionable fests around…
Secret Garden Party – Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire
Best for: Tea drinkers who still like to party.
The lowdown: If there’s one thing guaranteed to make your cooler-than-thou festival/party/event one iota cooler, it’s putting ‘secret’ in front of its name. The not-for-profit festival is a bubbly melting pot of creativity, with kids running amok and a fun, electro-tinged musical line-up. This year’s theme is ‘Fact or Fiction’, which apparently translates as an exploration of mythology, fantasy and illusion. Don’t expect it to be much like its Frances Hodgson Burnett namesake, but it does all take place in a gorgeous landscaped garden with a lake and an enchanted forest. Meet you by the big toadstool.
The look: Fantastical hippie heaven. Go for lurid colours, natty accessories and a healthy dose of fictional fun. This floral number from Urban Outfitters ought to do the job.
Spotted: Acts this year will include the very gorgeous Eliza Doolittle and Marina and the Diamonds – definitely ones to watch for style tips.
Bestival - The Isle of Wight (Above left)
Best for: Fancy dress fans.
The lowdown: The last shindig of the season, The September event takes festival dressing to another level with its annual, all-encompassing themes. Last year it was Space, this year it’s Fairy Tale, so expect frogs, princes and petticoats ahoy. And if you get bored dousing the mud out of your rented Repunzel wig, there’s always the music – this year’s lineup includes Roxy Music and Soft Cell’s Marc Almond, the perfect excuse to work some New Romantic flounces into your costume.
The look: This is no time to play the “I came as myself” card. Go fantastical, but avoid those awful slutty off-the-peg costumes by compiling your own. Check out Beyond Retro for enormous net underskirts to give that Snow White skirt some swoosh.
Spotted: Lily Allen, VV Brown, various others you might not recognise behind the disguises.
Exit – Serbia
Best for: the music, man.
The lowdown: Founded in 2000 by a group of students, Exit grew like wildfire throughout the noughties and in 2007 was named Best European Festival. Attracting a mishmash crowd of indie kids, drum and bass fans and ravers, the mood is laidback and the aesthetic more so.
The look: Think Shoreditch pub, transported to the banks of the Danube. Kick back in denim, checked shirts (pick your plaid at American Apparel) and slouchy jersey separates, and add a neon bra for impromptu rave stripping.
Spotted: It’s not a celeb haven yet, and all the better for it. This year’s lineup includes Chemical Brothers, Crystal Castles and Royksopp – less about the outfits, more about the block rockin’ beats.
Coachella – California
Best for: Shiny, happy people
The lowdown: The Californian desert fest has become big news in the last few years, attracting hundreds of thousands of sunseekers, hip kids and glitterati. This year’s event, which took place last weekend, saw performances from Jay-Z, Vampire Weekend and La Roux, and was just as star-studded offstage as on.
The look: High-end hippie, with plenty of flowing fabric, gladiator sandals and artfully mussed up hair. Katy Perry rocked a Native American-inspired get-up, while Alexa Chung and Agyness Deyn gave a lesson in effortless festival finery with their cotton dresses, playsuits and shirts. Try this little number from Boohoo on for size.
Spotted: Kelly Osbourne, Daisy Lowe, Alexa Chung, Agyness Deyn, Pixie Geldof. The usual suspects.
Latitude – Suffolk
Best for: culture vultures
The lowdown: A festival that’s as much about the other attractions as it is about the music, Latitude is packed with comedy, theatre, dance, literary events and other artsy diversions, and attracts a crowd of creatives, yummy mummies and wannabe woodland elves.
The look: Grown-up and dressed down, with a bohemian intellectual vibe (or as much of one as you can manage with a portaloo for a salon). Time to whip out the maxi dress, stick a flower behind your ear and chat to someone with a beard about Balzac. Head to Whistles for this gorgeous paint-effect dress, and team it with Hunter wellies.
Spotted: Regina Spektor, Paloma Faith, Vivienne Westwood.
Glastonbury – Somerset
Best for: Getting down and dirty
The lowdown: It’s the Big Daddy of them all – five days of frolicking in fields, anthemic music and mud. With something for everyone and their aunt, Glasto has earned its crown as the king of festivals.
The look: Pretty much anything goes, but Kate Moss cemented the official uniform with her hotpants-vest-wellies-and-waistcoat ensemble. This year, the shorts still stand but they want to be teamed with a statement top, like this military-inspired vest from New Look, and topped off with a parka to brace the evening chill.
Spotted: Pixie Lott, Florence Welch, Alexa Chung, Daisy Lowe… well, y’know, everyone.