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ESC, History of Festival Style

With H&M creating the first official co-branded collection with the Coachella Music Festival (and MAC getting in on the action with its Coachella-inspired makeup collection created with DJ Mia Moretti), festival dressing has officially moved past serving as a simple marker of spring and into a bonafide industry.

As revelers assemble flower crowns, dust off their floppy hats and let their fringe fly, we look back into music fest history to show that the benchmarks of festival style—fringe, flower crowns, floppy hats and more—are deeply rooted in festivals past.

ESC, History of Festival Style

David Gahr/Getty Images

1958: Some of the first music festivals are traced back to England with the Leeds Festival, which was held between 1858 and 1985 and featured classical music.

But Stateside, the birth of the modern-day music festival came with the jazz scene in the 1950s, when Rhode Island's Newport Jazz Festival and the Monterey Jazz Festival in California had fans turning out in hats, sunglasses and more refined ensembles. With proper seating offered, festival goers didn't have to sacrifice their Sunday's best to muddy grounds.

1968: Jazz gave way to folk in the early ‘60s festival scene as the Newport Festival added musicians like Janis Joplin to the lineup. Note her flower crown and pile of necklaces, which show that "new" trends have served as staples of festival dressing from the get-go.

ESC, History of Festival Style

1969: Before we turned up, kids turned on, tuned in and dropped out. In 1969, as rock took over the airwaves, Woodstock served as ground zero for rebellious youth to do all of the above while wearing free-floating fringe, as led by performers like Jimi Hendrix and Jefferson Airplane singer Grace Slick.

1993: Aside from the Atlanta (Georgia) Pop Festival in 1969–70, which celebrated southern roots rock, the festival scene lay dormant in the states until 1991, when Jane's Addiction frontman Perry Farrell formed Lollapalooza. Thanks to ‘90s punks like Kat Bjelland of Babes In Toyland, babydoll dressing (Mary Janes, ripped tights, barrettes and dresses befitting of Shirley Temple) and fierce, red lipstick became the thing.

ESC, History of Festival Style

1994: Woodstock's 25th anniversary festival featured many of the rock fest's original hallmarks—like major mud, tie-dye and body paint. But this time around, grunge-loving attendees scrawled brand names on their bodies, along with political messages and peace signs.

1997: To highlight women in rock, musician Sarah McLachlan launched Lilith Fair, a touring festival of all-female performers that hit 35 cities in its first year. The top-grossing festival tour of 1997 raised millions for women's charities and helped perpetuate the slip-dress trend, ushered in by waifish models like Kate Moss and seen on McLachlan here.

ESC, History of Festival Style

2005: Only Kate Moss could make wax-coated rain boots once used by English foot soldiers fashionable. By pairing them with micro-sized cutoffs and a simple black vest at Glastonbury, Kate created a practical but stylish look that still looks fresh today.

2014: Coachella dressing hits a fever pitch, as desert-fest partiers pile on every trend to have crossed festival style history in one overwhelming look. As flower crowns, metallic temporary tattoos, fringe, tangles of baubles, granny sunnies and more collide, may we suggest taking inspiration from the more streamlined looks once worn by ‘50s festival goers and toned-down ensembles of celebs like Diane Kruger and Kate Bosworth this year?