Music and fashion have always skipped passionately hand in hand; a love affair like no other and nowhere was it more apparent than at Bestival 2012. The occasion and September sunshine, which had come out to play along with all the merry festival goers, encouraged all to embrace fashion, in both an experimental and carefree manner. The theme was wildlife but whether people were styled as creatures of all designs or merely apparelled in their own individual style, the wildness ran rampant along with the spirit and Florence, as she darted energetically from stage right to left.
Sunglasses, wellies and hats are the three ultimate festival, fashion staples, and they were out in full force at Bestival. From Ray Bans to Asos’s sold out pineapple sunglasses, from celebrity favourite Hunter’s to good old Go Out Doors finest and from snapbacks, which the majority of the male attendees wore, to feather crowns; the variety was vast and that was just the beginning. Fashion in every form and garments in every cut, colour and texture, designed to allure, inspire, amuse and create fully fledged fashion envy… and then just amuse again, filled my senses. Tie Dye and Harem pants were big on the scene, but it was super short shorts and animal onesies which took centre stage in terms of clothing. For once, onesies in the style of our favourite furry friends were appropriate due to the wildlife theme, and the blazing hot sunshine which turned the Isle of Wight into a tropical paradise encouraged the brazen sporting of bum skimming shorts, though not for the under-confident. Many girls opted for the ever timeless sundress or playsuit, whilst the male portion of the festival switched between loud, retro inspired shirts and casual vest tops which were definitely motivated by the desire to remain cool, rather than fashionable.
Bestival was a timeline of every fashion trend that has every graced magazine covers, from punk to rockabilly to boho chic, to an amalgamation of several. It was all there in traditional and reinvented forms. Fringing and chiffon were huge and during moments under the vast tent canopies, it was like being at a denim convention, but extremely pretty denim which had fallen under the spell of studs, artistic fraying and dip dyeing. And it wasn’t just the denim which was exposed to all the shades of the rainbow. Neon bright hair was a crowd favourite, worn beneath the most exquisite headdresses you could ever imagine. It was as much a Topshop and Rokit affair as it was a DIY job, with many people having taken to the sewing box, which I discovered from discussing the intricacies and pure raw inventiveness of key pieces with their wearers.
However, it was the accessories which really caught the eye and made a powerful statement. Glitter and facepaint covered thousands of music and fashion worshippers, and it really was feathers and flowers galore. Bindis and crystals adorned the bodies and faces of both girls and boys who were more than eager to channel their inner femininity, so often suppressed due to the constraints of society and the everyday. And that is where the importance of festival fashion lies. It is not just about looking good, although that has become an integral part of being a festival goer, as well as somewhat expected. It is about being at ease with who you are and being accepting of others. It felt as if people were dressing how they have always wanted to, many never having had the confidence to be as colourful and bold. A fanny pack here, a dinosaur tail there; Bestival welcomed it all. As I was sitting eating my lunch and admiring all the fashion that danced before me, I heard someone say “I just wanted to experiment”. Sums it all up really, doesn’t it?
For more festival snaps see Style Hunter! http://www.impactnottingham.com/2012/09/impact-goes-to-bestival/