Fashion notes: Lose the lace shirts and sloppy skirts

If there’s ever a time when donning a lace shirt without any lining will let you blend in with the crowd, rather than earn you raised eyebrows and frowns, it’s at the Coachella music festival

Festival chic: A model from Temperley London on the runway.  Eamonn M McCormack / Getty Images
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If there’s ever a time when donning a lace shirt without any lining will let you blend in with the crowd, rather than earn you raised eyebrows and frowns, it’s at the ­Coachella music festival, which kicked off in California last weekend and continues this weekend. But why would you wish to be lumped together with the rest of the overstated rock-star-wannabe crew?

The style scene at Coachella has always been rather alternative, in terms of fashion trends ruling the industry. The unabashed boho babe and carefree cowgirl looks have rarely turned heads for being fashion forward, and the overall attitude has been along the lines of: what’s worn at Coachella, stays at Coachella. But gears are shifting and from the looks of the autumn/winter runways, festival fashion is now not only tolerable, but to a certain extent, on trend, too.

If you’re heading to any music festivals this season, I implore you to be selective with your fashion choices and wise with the festival trends you follow, lest you get utterly lost in a parade of too-much-skin-showing groupies. Believe me, there’s more to festival fashion than crop tops and frayed denim shorts. Hip-hugging hippie palazzos are a big no-no in my book, as are the white babydolls that belong in the bedroom, not on a grassy field. More preferable Coachella style elements, especially with the current “free-spirit” vibe to fashion, are fringed details, feminine floral embroidery, patchworked textiles and maxi-on-maxi pairings.

With dashes of denim, suedes and subtle fringing, Chloé’s autumn/winter collection implied a muse who was a delightfully mature festivalgoer; a fan of music and high fashion – a combination of passions we should all strive for when gearing up for Coachella. Prairie-esque chiffon dresses – which could have been mistaken for night-time negligees, if not for the tuxedo-style vests they were paired with – ­fluttered across the Paris runway in folksy floral prints and neutral tones, giving us all a month to rethink our Coachella style plans.

At Temperley London, maxi lengths were uniquely paired together, creating a must-try trend for the season in general. Modish suits were worn with patterned calf-length kimonos, and ankle-grazing dresses with floor-length cardigans. Though the tribal and tapestry-inspired prints on the catwalk appeared in thick knits for the upcoming season, the look can be replicated in billowy chiffons and sheer materials for festival-fitting ­attire.

Fringed finishings have been somewhat of a reflection of festival fashion for some years now, whether on suede boots, vests or leather bags. Autumn/winter runways showed a return for fringes in the collections of designers such as Rebecca Minkoff, Vivienne Westwood and Issa. For maximum effect, opt for super-long fringes, at least a metre in length, and in black or white, for a more sophisticated take on the trend. Wear them trailing down tops, dresses or skirts, completing the look with one standout headpiece or hand harness, and you’re good to go.

Lastly, think carefully about your fabrics and how you layer them. Though it might seem like an obvious textile choice, crochet can be tricky, and may resonate more with “flea market” than “festival”. If you’re aching to wear a too-typical paisley-printed dress or romper, that’s fine, but throw a vest on top of it to give it an ­androgynous kick. If you find yourself getting drawn into the realm of the spur-of-the-moment shabby and carefree, keep those brown combat boots planted firmly on the ground. You’re better than that.