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!

January’s Reads

I know, I know. This post is a month delayed… but I promise, I have been keeping true to my New Year’s Resolution! I have happily read a new book every week and am learning something new every day. Here is what I read during the month of January:

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St. Marks is Dead by Aba Calhoun-

We all know I love New York City; that is no secret. As Carry Bradshaw once said, “If you only get one great love, New York may just be mine”. When I first saw this book I was instantly intrigued. Some of my fondest memories from my freshman year of college occurred on St. Marks Place. I wanted to learn the deep history behind a street that meant so much to me. The book walks through the colonization of New York City and how the neighborhood changes throughout the decades. It includes personal stories from residents of the street, making the book personal and real. If you love the history of music, art, or New York City, then I highly recommend picking this book up. It even includes vintage photographs!

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Weapons of Math Destruction by Cathy O’Neil-

Some of you may have just read that title and cringed. Ew, math!? Why would I want to read about math? Personally, I love math, but you do not have to enjoy crunching numbers to appreciate this book. O’Neil dives deep into how today’s algorithms favor the wealthy and hurt the middle class. She touches on subjects like college admission and bank loans, describing how these systems work against the typical American. The book is definitely eye-opening; It makes you think how it is even possible to escape this embedded discrimination.

The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb-

This book has to be my least favorite of all I read during January. I have had this book for quite awhile, maybe two years. Every time I reached to read it I ended up returning it to the growing stack of books in my bedroom. Taleb is a philosopher by nature so the entire book is quite lyrical, making it one big tangent and hard to follow. While there were chapters that really made me wonder how the world works, and reflect on my own experiences, I found myself lost for quite a majority of it. Also, I may have been a bit bitter that he kept stating the uselessness of statistics, a subject I quite enjoy!

The Rise of the Robots by Martin Ford-

I have a large fascination with robots being that I want to pursue data science in the future. I was initially attracted to this book by the bright, animated cover. Whoever said “don’t judge a book by its cover” clearly never walked around a bookstore filled with the most beautiful books. This book goes into a detailed discussion about how technology is projected to ruin our economical system. Ford dives into each upcoming innovation and how that particular one will destroy opportunities for the middle class. He then provides what he believes to be a solution for the accelerated pace of technology. If you love technology as much as I do, and are amazed by what scientists are creating in the world, give this book a read!

If you have any recommendations on books you think I should read, please leave them below! Look out for February’s Reads, coming soon.

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.