The Rise of Jersey City Street Art

Art. It is all around us but not everyone chooses to see it. Street art was once viewed as a crime thought to be ruining the beauty of a simple neighborhood. However, a lot has changed in the last few years and the whole concept of street art has turned from a negative to a positive.

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Art murals like the ones in this post are now viewed as a way to draw interest to an otherwise ugly space, such as a parking lot. Different colors, patterns, and images are being painted in areas with the purpose of changing the perception of neighborhood elements that have otherwise been thought of as unpleasant to the eye.

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From parking lots to the back entrances of restaurants, murals have turned these places into popular picture spots. Walking around this area of Jersey City I saw multiple photoshoots occurring; not just fashion bloggers like myself, but engagement and couple shoots. Ten years ago these murals would have been viewed as vandalism rather than a place where couples want to share some of the most important pictures of their lives.

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Once the exact opposite, street art can now be viewed as a way to gentrify a neighborhood and attract a new crowd of people. Neighborhoods like Jersey City, Shoreditch, Chelsea, and even my hometown, are embracing this new approach to enliven a neighborhood. So what exactly changed to all of a sudden make street art “cool”?

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Is it the rise of millennials and our culture that are making this a new trend? Maybe. Or maybe it was society’s increasing interest with Banksy, the anonymous British artist known for making political statements with murals popping up on city walls overnight.

We may never really know how society began to accept this form of art that it was so strongly against in the past. However, it is important to consider its importance and how it has changed society for the better. It has given artists a platform where their art is guaranteed to be seen and recognized. It has also introduced the concept of art to many people and has shown them just how powerful it can be.

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Similar to street art, I aim to express myself through what I choose to put on my body each day. The way we dress and what we wear paints a picture of who we are in other’s minds. As cliché as it is, we all judge a book by its cover. It is important to express who you are and what you believe in through what you wear, just like street artists express their views on society through their murals.

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Whether you are a fan of street art or not, the next time you see a mural, stop and try to interpret what the artist was thinking at the time he or she painted it. Art has the power to express meaningful messages if we allow it to. Also consider what message you are projecting to the world when you get dressed tomorrow morning. Clothes, colors, and patterns have the ability to say so much without having to actually say it.

Check out Parisian Street Art (the 10th arrondissement) and Amsterdam’s Art Scene to see some of my favorite street art in Europe.

 

 

 

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Every Beauty Has a History

If you have ever been to Cape May then you know just how unique the architecture of the buildings in the area is. Each home has its own personality, painting a different story for every person that walks by it. There are old churches, restaurants, bed and breakfasts, and boutiques- each with no less character than the last.

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The colorful homes and intricate gardens of Cape May are just two of the many reasons why it is one of my favorite places. I could wonder the streets for hours and be perfectly content with life. My family knows this for sure; they are often the ones that I am dragging around with me on long walks.

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Cape May’s architecture is clearly Victorian. However, it was not always like this. In 1878 a massive fire broke out on the little beach island, destroying 30 blocks of buildings and hotels. The rebuilding of this area surrounding Washington Street was considered the modern style of the day. Now, the style is an old charm like no other, giving everyone that visits it a glimpse into the Victorian era.

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Defining features of Victorian architecture include stained glass windows, gingerbread trim, and detailed fencing. Ironic that this little Victorian home is called the Gingerbread House? I think not. The entrance is decorated with this beautiful, twirly white trim that I just can’t get enough of.

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Cape May is actually a National Historic Landmark, which makes sense when you think about all of its rich history. The town was known as the “President’s Playground” because of it being a popular vacation destination for presidents like Abraham Lincoln and James Buchanan.

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However, Cape May was not always a National Historic Landmark. The Victorian buildings were actually threatened in the mid-1900s when many argued that they should be demolished to make room for more modern architecture. Luckily, many more people appreciated these one-of-a-kind buildings and argued for them not to be torn down. Once the town was given its historical title in 1976 the buildings were forever safe from harm.

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Just like timeless architecture, I believe fashion is something that should be preserved for centuries to come. It represents a moment in time that is to be forever cherished. Clothing tells a story just like buildings do. While my style is simple and classic, it shows my youth and drive as a young woman in the business world.

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As a modern woman walking the streets of Cape May that the great American Presidents once walked, I aim to leave a lasting artistic impression on the world for decades to come. If these buildings can inspire me as much as they do, why can’t I inspire others with my fashion choices?

(Sources: Cape May Times and Cape May Ocean Club Hotel)

Summer Bummer

Now that Labor Day has rolled around, it is officially the end of the summer. No more beach days, daily ice cream cones, runs along the ocean, or endless lobster rolls. It is time that reality rolls back into our lives.

While I have spent my summer interning 5 days a week as well as working most nights, summer still felt like a time of relaxation and winding down. Responsibilities seem a little less apparent when the sun is shining bright and the salty breeze is blowing through your hair.

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Being a Gemini, with two very different personalities, my simple side tends to come out in the summer while my hustling city slicker personality tends to shy away for the time being. That being said, my summer involved lots of yoga, reading, and enjoying the beauties that nature had to offer me.

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I am a firm believer that we all need to take some time to step back and re-evaluate our goals and what we are working towards. Summer is the perfect time to do this. It allows you to clear your head of the stress and worries and to focus on what really matters. Clearing your mind allows you to step into the back-to-school season with crystal clear intentions of what you really wish to accomplish in the next year.

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Working this summer taught me exactly what I need out of my future career once I graduate college in the spring. It taught me the type of people, environment, and work itself that I value in a career. However, more importantly, spending the summer with my family by the beach taught me an even more important lesson; life is short.

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Life is very short. Whatever your biggest worry is today, there are much more meaningful things to worry about. Your little worries mean absolutely nothing in the grand scheme of things. If you want to go out with your friends one night when you have work early in the morning, go out. If you want to wear your favorite kimono that is way too dressy for the beach, wear it. If you have to drive 4 hours in one day just to say hi to your grandparents, do it.

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Do what you will end up remembering years from now. The lasting memories that certain choices shape for you are worth the sacrifice. So stop stressing the littlest of worries and easiest of decisions and live your life to its fullest capacity.

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After all, life is short, and so is summer.

What important lesson did you learn this summer? Leave me a comment below! If you enjoyed this post be sure to read my reflection of last summer, And the Summertime Sadness Sets In…. For similar pictures and posts follow me on here, InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

The Power of a Place

We all know the feeling. The feeling of nostalgia. The feeling of all of your memories flooding back. The feeling as if you never even left. All of these feelings are part of visiting a place that holds such an important place in your memory.

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There are many places that remind me of memories from my childhood. My beach house. The bedroom from my teenage years. My grandparent’s house. All of these places instantly bring me back to when I was 12 years old and running around outside, barefoot, my biggest concern being what flavor of ice cream I would consume that night. Whenever I visit here I quickly forget the responsibilities of adulthood and feel as if I have no worries in the world.

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Why do places have this effect on the human brain? According to Nautilus (my new favorite publication, might I add), we actually seem to replace all of our childhood memories in order to make room for new ones that form during adulthood. However, these scrambled memories are brought into consciousness when stimulated with certain scents, words, or places. So, as it turns out, our favorite places act as a source of stimulation to recover our repressed memories that we may not think about on a daily basis.

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This beautiful lake is where many of my fondest childhood memories were made. Ones that I hope to always cherish and never forget. Being by the lake makes me feel as if just yesterday I was canoeing and catching fish off of the dock with my pop-pop.

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While much has changed since then, including my sense of style, I will always feel like a young, happy preteen by that lake. I am also happy to say that my style has upgraded from those days. My daily uniform back then may or may not have included an old basketball camp t-shirt and colorful, mesh shorts from Limited Too.

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If it’s been awhile since you’ve visited a place that reminds you of all the amazing memories that molded you into the individual you are today, then what are you waiting for? Go out there and relive the happiness a younger you once experienced. Trust me, it will refresh your outlook on how you are living as an adult.

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So tell me, what is your favorite place that brings all of your most cherished memories flooding back? What place is the most powerful to you?

For similar pictures and posts follow me on here, InstagramTwitter, and Facebook. If you enjoyed this post in particular, check out The Sunshine Effect.

Independence//Dependence

Independence. It is something we all aim to possess and incorporate into our daily life. It is also something each of us interprets differently depending on our own circumstances. For some independence means being able to afford rent without the help from one’s parents, and for others it means being perfectly content in one’s own company. Who are we to judge whether someone should be independent or dependent?

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I have always been independent in my own interests and style. I pride myself in the fact that I dress the way I want and do what I want without the opinions of other’s affecting me. I mean it is pretty necessary to not care what others think when you are out on the streets of London with a photographer who has a camera with a two-foot-long lens pointing at you…

Although I am very independent in most aspects, I depend on my family and friends for love, support, and some good laughs. Without them I would not have turned into the person I am today.

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It is weird to think about your own style as being independent or dependent, as if it were a person itself. However, one’s style is truly dependent on this concept. You either dress the way you want because YOU like it or you dress that way because SOCIETY likes it. Or in a fashionista’s case, the way the fashion industry likes it.

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Trends like yellow-tinted sunglasses and fishnet tights are completely dependent on the opinions of the fashion industry. Even I can’t admit that I made those style choices simply because I liked the style and wanted to wear it; I tried them because they were on-trend and worn by some of my favorite bloggers.

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Just like our own personalities, I believe it is essential that our individual style is comprised of both independent and dependent pieces. Us humans need to be somewhat dependent on others in order to form meaningful relationships in our lives. We also need these relationships to expand our own outlook on life and grow as individuals. Our style works the same way in that without trying “trends” we don’t know what we like/dislike and what looks good/bad on our bodies.

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In this look I was inspired by the off-the-shoulder trend currently circulating throughout the fashion world. However, I made it my own by adding my favorite black boots and a jeweled bag I found at a local market in London.

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Whether it is with your clothes, personal goals, or hobbies, don’t be afraid to look to others for their thoughts and opinions. We often condemn people who depend too much on the opinions of others; but sharing ideas is necessary to grow into your own form of independence.

See more street style posts by following me on here, InstagramTwitter, and Facebook. If you enjoyed this post, check out Too New York for London- a Lookbook.

Photos by Colton.

Why We Need to Love America

The 4th of July is a holiday of American pride- both real and fake. While there are certainly many people who love and appreciate this country, myself being one of them, there are many who do not- especially those in my generation.

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On the 4th of July everyone celebrates the birth of America and the principles that it was founded on. However, on the other 364 days of the year, people are bashing the country for its struggles and issues that it is facing. Well, guess what? This is what makes America the great country that it is. Unlike those in other countries, we actually have the right to speak our opinions and raise our voice to principles we don’t believe in.

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You may not agree with everything that is happening in our country right now but it is a beautiful thing that you even have a voice to say something about it. Being in a country with so much freedom has led us to take for granted the freedom that our ancestors fought for us to have 241 years ago. Well it’s time to wake up. We are a country where we actually have a say in government policy and the power to make a change.

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If you aren’t happy with the way things are playing out in America then do something to change that. Speak your mind and fight for a cause you believe in, but don’t ever say you aren’t proud to be an American. It is important that we encourage one another to debate right versus wrong while still being on the same side.

There isn’t a day that goes by where I am not proud to be living in this country, with all its diversity and opportunity. What other country is filled with people from hundreds of different countries that all consider themself one nationality? Zero. It is only America where you can be German, African, Australian, Chinese, Mexican, or Russian and also be American. No other country melts the way America does in terms of diversity.

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This 4th of July, and all other days of the year, be proud to show off your red, white and blue and exclaim your love for America.

Hear more of what I have to say and see what I am up to by following me on here, InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

The Sunshine Effect

It is officially that time of year again. Long days and even longer nights. Hot, grainy sand in-between your toes. Melting ice cream cones. The sound of crickets. The little glowing specks of lightening bugs flying through the night sky. And most importantly, the warmth of the sunshine beating down on your skin.

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I am someone who has always been drawn to the sun. Everything about the sun lifts my mood and brightens my day, literally. Its yellow color during the day and pinky orange hues at dusk are always a beautiful reminder to me of the power of life. The warmth is a constant reminder that I am alive and enjoying what life has to offer me. The sun is proof that every day is a new day and that we each have the power to make it special.

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For me summer is when the sun is the most prominent and radiating its full energy. It is in the summer that I find myself constantly laying outside, soaking in the rays. It is in the summer where my favorite activity is grabbing a lobster roll and heading to Cape May Pointe to watch the sun fall over the horizon. It is in the summer where I am full of life and happy from the simplest of things. The sun simply humbles me.

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The summer sun is something special. Go outside and observe its glow. Watch the sunset and admire the chemistry behind the colors in the sky. I assure you the sun will set and rise again, each day leaving you with a new appreciation of the life you’ve been given.

Shop my look: Denim Shorts by American Apparel, Gingham Top by Asos, Loafers by Asos, Bracelet by The Comfort Station, Earrings by Lovestylelife on EtsySee more Shoreditch street art and style posts by following me on here, InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

See more life and style posts by following me on here, InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

Too New York for London- A Lookbook

As my 5 month adventure in London comes to a close, I have been thinking, how have I adapted to the European culture? There are some little things that you pick up from being in a new country for so long, like calling eggplant aubergine, or the side that you walk up the stairs, but can a country really change someone’s core?

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I am a firm believer that I will always be a New York City girl (sorry London!). While I love London and would never hesitate to move here for a few years, New York City will always have my heart. After all, the city is written all over my outfit choices.

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My style has definitely changed a bit to fit the European persona, but it still remains very “American”. While every girl in London is sporting her culottes and trainers with socks, I continue to wear little flowy dresses and my leather jacket. And, after all, black clothing is a New Yorker’s second skin. I don’t think I will ever stray away from my all-black wardrobe no matter how much I attempt to add some colorful pieces to my closet.

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While my fashion sense has stayed relatively the same, I have definitely grown into a more mature woman while living in London. I have always considered myself a very independent person, going to events on my own and taking the awkward steps to meet new people. However, since being here, my independence has grown to a new level that I never knew it could. Being away from your friends and family, having absolutely no one familiar, is a scary thing that forces you to step completely out of your comfort zone. Independence is no longer a choice but a way of living.

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I am excited to bring this newfound independence back with me to the States (and my British lingo begins to show!). I have developed an appreciation for people in my life and just good people in general that I am confident will make me enjoy my life in New York City even more than I had before.

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When I return to New York City at the end of the month, I will always have a piece of London in me. You can take the girl out of the country but you can’t take the country out of the girl!

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See more Shoreditch street art and style posts by following me on here, InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

Photos by Colton.

Show Your Love for the Earth Through Sustainable Fashion

April 22nd. Do you know what day that is? No, it’s not International Pancake Day or International Wine Day, two “holidays” that millennials are probably more familiar with than this day. April 22nd is Earth Day, a day that is dedicated to caring for our planet and making eco-conscious choices.

I find it ironic how millennials are “Earth-activists” and care about the environment, yet most do absolutely nothing to help it. While yes, part of Earth’s future lies in the hand of our President, it is our decisions in our everyday life that ultimately effect the health of Mother Nature. Being a millennial myself, I admit that I am not the best at recycling or reusing my resources. However, I am also not preaching for everyone else to help the Earth but not help it myself. So this brings me to ask you, how have you planned to help the Earth on this lovely upcoming Saturday?

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I think we can all sacrifice a few hours of our day to pick up litter in the neighborhoods surrounding us. I highly recommend organizing a neighborhood clean-up and picking up  litter in your surrounding area. Just imagine if everyone did this; the Earth could be completely clean for a few hours! Growing up, my mom would bring my sister and I to participate in our neighborhood Earth Day clean-ups. I actually ended up always enjoying them, walking away with a sense of accomplishment that the patch of ground was clean because of my efforts. One time I even found an old love letter hiding in the litter alongside the highway. Not only are you helping your community, but you could find your own little treasures!

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You may be asking yourself, well how can I make a change that will permanently help the Earth? My answer for that is sustainable fashion. Many people, specifically Earth-activists, do not realize just how detrimental the fashion industry is to Mother Nature. Not only is it the fabric itself that is unethical, but the services of those who are making the clothing, the dying of the clothing, the shipping of the clothing… It is truly unfathomable how much harm fashion does to the environment.

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Fast fashion stores like H&M, Forever 21 and Zara are doing nothing but harming the environment with the toxins their factories release into the air, the unsustainable fabrics, and the strenuous practices that they put their workers through. Unless we stop buying from these stores, fast fashion companies will only continue to gain power.

Eilen Fisher fashion blogger

While I know it is hard not to shop at these stores, because lets face it, they are the only thing in our budget, but it is essential that we at least support companies making efforts towards sustainable fashion. My favorite company working towards this goal is EILEEN FISHER. Last summer I worked as a Social Media and Public Relations Intern for them and  experienced first-hand how ethics and safe environmental practices are the core of their company (read more about my experience here). We need to support companies like EILEEN FISHER who are making an effort to change the fashion industry as we know it.

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Not only do these two companies design and produce their clothing with the environment in mind, but they make an effort to truly educate consumers. Look on either of their websites and you will see environmental statistics plastered all over. They don’t try to hide how and where they produce their products, which most companies do. Try to find out where fast fashion retailers make their clothes. Hint: you won’t be able to. They don’t easily disclose this information on their website. If this information is found, it is usually in a news article titled “Forever 21 Clothing Made in U.S. Sweatshops for $4 an Hour” or “Forever 21, H&M, Zara, Uniqlo: Who’s Paying for our Cheap Clothes?“.

Eileen Fisher fashion blogger

Earth Day may be April 22nd, but every day should be Earth Day. I know we are all not perfect, but we all can do something a little extra to make the environment a healthier place. I’m not talking fighting legislation or joining the Green Party, but something we can all easily do every day, like make sustainable fashion choices.

Have Bloggers Destroyed the True Purpose of Coachella?

Being an avid Youtube and Instagram user, I have noticed the increased hype over Coachella this year with popular fashion and lifestyle bloggers. Hype may even be putting it lightly… I think the term obsession may be more appropriate. While Coachella has always been viewed as an event to show off the best of festival fashion, it has been taken to a whole new level this year. I keep asking myself, why is this?

My favorite fashion bloggers like Danielle Bernstein of WeWoreWhat and Chiara Ferragni of The Blonde Salad have been documenting their last few months spent preparing for Coachella. Yes, months. There have been constant Instagram stories and snapchats of them receiving packages in the mail from companies as well as their various visits to brand showrooms in preparation for their finest festival-inspired looks. From what I can recall of the past years, there has never been this much obsession over what to wear and what types of statements are to be made.

(pictures via @weworewhat on Instagram)

Being a fashionista myself, I absolutely recognize all of the fun that goes into preparing your looks for music festivals. It gives you a chance to dress in ways you may not typically dress in your everyday life. I mean who doesn’t love the glitter, boho dresses, and cowgirl-themed accessories? Coachella gives you a chance to be someone new and embrace the gypsy fashion while listening to some of your favorite bands in the middle of the desert. However, I can’t help but wonder if Coachella has now become more of a brand investment rather than a fun source of self-expression.

We all know that fashion bloggers get paid by brands to wear their clothing and post pictures of them wearing it. It is also no question that Coachella fashion gets A LOT of attention and A LOT of searches. This makes me wonder if Coachella is just an excuse for fashion bloggers to get increased exposure from social media and magazine articles, which is why bloggers are spending so much time preparing for it. The more preparation, the crazier the looks, the more exposure, the more money bloggers are paid by brands.

(pictures via @chiaraferragni on Instagram)

Not only has this festival turned into a business venture for fashion bloggers, but it has become hard work for all of the brands involved as well. If you work for a popular bohemian fashion brand you can forget about enjoying the music at Coachella. Countless months are spent planning parties, looks, press events, showroom invites, and more. I mean, I thought music festivals were a fun place to enjoy music, but have you once heard a blogger talk about what artists were going to be there or who they couldn’t wait to hear live? I know I haven’t. All the talk is simply about wearing which look which day and getting this shot, in that location. I have mentioned this before, but life should be about enjoying the moment rather than planning it. We don’t want to see posed picture, we want to see people genuinely enjoying themselves.

While I am excited to not only hear the live performances from Coachella this weekend, I am also looking forward to all of the Instagram posts of what everyone is wearing. However, some of the magic for me will be lost. Just knowing all of the business that has gone behind an event that is supposed to be so fun, carefree, and effortless, loses Coachella’s sense of purpose for me. What do you think about the evolution of Coachella and its attendees? Let me know by leaving me a comment!