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!

Shoreditch Street Style

Shoreditch is the coolest place in London to live; I will take that statement with me to the grave. Being a fashion and art lover, the environment really spurs so much creativity. Every time you walk down the street you notice a new painting or music poster on the exposed brick buildings. There is constantly something that inspires me with a new idea.

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Maybe it’s just me being crazy, but I think I’ve gotten a lot cooler since moving to Shoreditch. The neighborhood openly accepts the most artsy form of yourself, which I love. I can where whatever I want to wear without being looked at twice (unless your outfit is just so cool it requires a few extra glances). Everyone is always expressing themselves and simply living their lives. If you have a new idea or a creative soul, this is the only place to pursue it.

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Staying true to my own style, I love to take business-like pieces and pair them with more eclectic, hip accessories. I took this rather fancy silk blouse and paired it with my new favorite Topshop jeans and Asos rose gold loafers. The cold and rainy weather clearly hasn’t stopped me from sporting my favorite pair of shoes.

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I have been wearing a lot more blue since being in London, and I can’t help but think if the weather is what is inspiring this new wardrobe change. It really is as gloomy as everyone says it is (although this was shot on a super sunny day, of course)! Luckily, living in Shoreditch, there is always a colorful art mural just around the corner to brighten my day.

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Fashion and art are two topics which can be interpreted in many different ways. We all see different things as forms of art and different styles as “fashion-forward”. Living in London has reinforced this viewpoint of mine more than ever. There are so many different parts of the city, each with different kinds of people, restaurants, and architectural styles. There truly is a neighborhood that is meant for everyone.

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I am lucky enough to live in the neighborhood that fits me the best. Shoreditch is for the so-called “hipsters”. Kensington is for the posh museum-goers. Camden is for the eclectic, edgy character. Westminster is for the tourists…

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The next time you are looking for a unique source of inspiration, explore a new area- whether it is a small street just a few minutes from you or a completely unknown neighborhood. You never know what you will find and how it will inspire you.

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

Photos by Colton.

Finding Happiness in Simplicity

I think we can all agree that our fondest memories are always those shared with the people we love most in life. These memories can range from a family vacation to a day at the beach to one’s favorite holiday. I often find that my most treasured memories do not have to be in a special place or at a special time but with someone special. When you are with a person that simply makes you happy just with their presence, the world of possibility to make an unforgettable memory automatically opens up.

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My cousin, and my best friend, recently visited me for a Saturday while I was living in the city. I often find that I don’t have to plan out concrete things for us to do in order to have an amazing time, especially in New York, because, lets be honest, everything is pretty amazing.

Naturally, we ate our way through the day, walking our way to different neighborhoods. We began with Good Enough to Eat in the Upper West Side, a block down from where I was living. This has been on my list of restaurants to try for quite some time now, especially after walking past long lines of people every weekend morning. We didn’t even have to wait in the line since I volunteered my butt to be burned on the metal chairs that were heating up in the hot summer sun. The things I will do when I am hungry! Needless to say, you can never go wrong with a biscuit and a well-cooked omelette (one with white cheddar and granny smith apples in this case!).

After browsing through a few book stores, riding the Subway downtown, stopping at Mount Sinai for band-aids for Natasha’s feet and sipping on drinks in the East Village, we managed to end up in the Lower East Side/Soho area. While I often pass this quaint blue building, seeing people chomping down on corn, I had not tried it for myself before this weekend. Natasha and I always joke that you can only eat corn on the cob around the person you feel most comfortable with. Let me tell you ladies, not a pretty sight! This has to be a given, but if I boy wants to take you to Cafe Habana on a date, run the other direction. Or maybe just suggest another restaurant.

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Sprinkled with cheese and zested with lime, this corn is a delicious summer treat to share with your best friend. We ate ours out on the street, taking in the buzzing environment, but there is also a sit-down part of the restaurant right next door.

Since we were in the area I stopped at Sunrise Mart, a convenient store carrying all kinds of Japanese goodies, to buy my favorite lychee gummies. Natasha and I may or may not have eaten an entire bag each while watching the sunset… They really are that good!

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My favorite summer activity is watching the sunset. It may seem so simple but it always gives me an extreme wave of happiness and love for life. It is crazy to think that everyone in this world sees the same sun every day and watches it come and go at different points in time. The sun and each day is something we are all guilty of taking advantage of. How often do you stop to appreciate the sun rising and the opportunity to start a new day? Or watch the sun setting and reflect on the day that just passed?

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As I sat in Hudson River Park, with my favorite city of skyscrapers and bustling lives behind me, I watched the sun fall over the horizon, closing the wonderful day I had just spent with my cousin. Life can get hectic. We all have jobs. We all have needs. We all have goals. I get it, it’s hard to balance all of these in one 24-hour day. In order to appreciate and enjoy these days, however, we need to stop and take in the natural beauty of what is happening in the world we live in.

The Beauty in the Broken

I was running along the Hudson River during my favorite part of the day, sunset, when I ran past this sculpture. I removed my ear buds which where blasting soft electronic music, stopping to admire the sculpture. As humans, art has the power to move us. It moves us in ways we may not even be able to explain. I often find myself compelled by a certain piece of art that I would have never looked at twice if presented to me in a different way.

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While I already experience an Adrenaline rush during my nightly runs, seeing an art piece as powerful as this one only heightens that high. It is art like this that really makes me think about life, which is exactly what the artist intended when she created this sculpture. The emotion on these faces is so raw and genuine that you cannot help but stop in your tracks and feel a connection while looking at it.

Tanda Francis sculpted this structure from concrete and steel, ending with a towering 10-foot-tall masterpiece called Everyone Breaks. She was inspired by the fact that life always forces us down at points in time. Every person experiences situations which bring them to tears or anger they cannot control. However, we always have the power inside us to push past these struggles in order to find happiness once again. The cracks in this sculpture simply show that something which was once broken is even more beautiful after being pieced back together again.

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When I stopped in front of this sculpture I was not sure exactly what attracted me to the art piece, which often happens. Sometimes you later find answers to why this state of awe occurred and sometimes you do not. After learning the meaning behind Francis’s sculpture it made sense to me why I was originally so attracted to it. I, just like every other human on this Earth, have had points in time where I have been so upset, heartbroken, or angry over situations beyond my control. It is from these situations, however, that I have grown into who I am today. I have learned to always value my self-worth over anyone else’s. I have learned to appreciate my loved ones while they are with me. I have learned to always trust my first intuition about someone.

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Without these lessons I would not be the confident, beautiful, hard-working young woman I am today. I would not treat people important to me with the level of affection and respect that they deserve. I definitely would not express myself through fashion in the same way I do now. I can promise you that you would not be the unique, wonderful person you are today without your life experiences, for your hardships have only made you more beautiful.

My look is not only inspired by the beauty of the sculpture but by the beauty of life itself. I choose to wear my favorite bodysuit to show off one of my favorite features- my back. Never be afraid to show off what you feel is the most beautiful part about yourself, whether it is your legs or a scar, for every feature makes you who you are.

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I think of myself as a fun, carefree person so I like to express that in my style. While I do love black, I am never afraid to add some fun accessories like these sunglasses and red crossbody bag. Of course, I added a contrasting puff to the bag to express even more of my personality.

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As Tupac Shakur once recited in The Rose That Grew From Concrete, “Did you hear about the rose that grew through the crack in the concrete? Proving nature’s law wrong, it learned to walk without having feet. Funny, it seems to be keeping it’s dreams; it learned to breathe fresh air. Long live that rose that grew from concrete when no one else even cared.” In other words, the most beautiful and pure version of yourself develops due to life’s obstacles and heartbreaks.

Architecture as Fashion

In the fashion industry designers are inspired by all different mediums in their surroundings, whether it is a painting, a song, an individual’s street style, or a building. Architecture is a prominent inspiration for different types of art because it is an art in itself. I have always had an eye for beautiful buildings, analyzing just how that artist envisioned that structure on paper or the entire process of engineering that went into creating it. It is both a science and an art form.

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When I was exploring Riviera Maya, Mexico I was instantly drawn to the color and style of this church. It may have been because yellow is my favorite color and instantly pulls me back to the walls of my childhood bedroom, but there is something about it that is so visually pleasing, instantly soothing and inspiring the soul. Before I visited Mexico this was exactly what I pictured a traditional building to look like.

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The vibes I got when I was around this building were the same vibes I imagine avid festival-goers feeling at Coachella. They are in the middle of the desert, surrounded by their favorite music and people with the same care-free, fun spirits as themselves. I was in a brand new country, taking in the difference of culture, surrounded by others who were also vacationing to escape the busy reality of their everyday lives.

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For this reason, I am obsessed with anything relating to music festivals. Festivals connect people in the same way vacations and culture do. I stalked every hashtag on all social media sites referencing anything Coachella-related last spring in the hopes that it would feel like I was enjoying the experience with the festival-goers. My favorite singer, Lana Del Rey, performed, so naturally I was inclined to this serious stalk session. It is hard to put my love for Lana Del Rey into words; if you are my friend, you know how much I admire and adore her and her music.

After her performance I began actively searching for the outfit she wore during her set, a 70s-inspired, tropical floral mini dress, similar to the dress she wore in her Shades of Cool music video. I was so desperate to find a dress similar to this that I made my own. I went to my local Goodwill and searched to find the perfect bright, vintage floral print. Of course the dress made out of this fabric was four sizes too big with a long boxy cut and shoulder pads. I created my own dress pattern and used the cut-up scraps of this dress to create my Lana-inspired mini dress.

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Of course, fast forward a few months later, I find this dress at the Forever 21 in Soho. It is the exact same cut as the dress I fell in love with and spent so much time sewing myself. And for a small price tag of $27…The moment I bought it I knew I had to wear it to Mexico.

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I paired the dress with my favorite chunky, wooden heels from Nastygal to make it seem as if I was a model stepping out of a vintage photograph. To make the look more modern, since we obviously are no longer in the 70s, I added this gold, beaded body chain. Pairing this under any shirt or dress that shows skin is instant sex appeal (1970s Fifty Shades of Grey?). There’s nothing sexier than a chain draping over an exposed slice of skin.

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Let the colors of Mexico and vintage floral print inspire your next festival outfits. With whatever you wear, as long as it expresses who you are as a person and inspires you just as the music does, you can’t go wrong. I will hopefully be attending Governor’s Ball this summer in New York City, showing you more indie, bohemian fashion.