Less boho chic, more streetwear style on the Coachella fashion scene for 2018

What, no flower crowns? The influence of streetwear and 1990s fashion in particular is what was seen in abundance this year on Coachella’s festival grounds.
(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

Sorry, flower crowns.

You were the reigning boho-chic accessory for countless Coachellas past thanks to Paris Hilton, Vanessa Hudgens and hundreds of others channeling their inner flower child. But at this year’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, it appears you have lost some of your petal power.

Perhaps you have become a victim of overexposure — too much Instagram play thanks to those Snapchat-filtered photos. And yet, there may be hope. If anyone can cause a crown revival to happen during the second weekend of Coachella that would be Saturday night’s headliner, Beyoncé, who favors wearing crowns in general. We’ll be watching when she takes the stage.

The other major fashion note from Coachella is the rise of streetwear, largely embraced by the millennials who make up the Coachella crowd. Streetwear, which has its roots in Californian surf and skate culture and is also a huge part of hip-hop culture, has become proper music festival attire, particularly styles from the 1990s, the decade that continues to influence fashion.

On a sartorial mission, we spent eight hours wandering the festival grounds on Friday, looking for fresh looks and to confirm our suspicions about trends. Here are fashion portraits we took showing some of the prominent looks from the first day.

1. Gucci for the win?

During day one of Coachella, the Italian luxury brand’s interlocking double G logo popped on T-shirts, tank tops and an abundance of accessories. On a side note, Beyoncé and her daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, are often photographed wearing the label, which is thriving under the direction of creative director Alessandro Michele.

Coachella fashion
Jeremy Tong, 25, of London wears a Gucci logo t-shirt, featuring Mystic Cat, with denim and sunglasses during Day 1 of the 2018 Coachella Arts and Music Festival. Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times
Coachella fashion
João Pedro Pepe, 28, of Rio de Janeiro Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times

2. Holographics and metallics

Even classic halter tops and fanny packs looked new when seen in shimmering metallics and holographic materials.

Coachella fashion
Dominique Wilkerson, 28, of Los Angeles Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times
Coachella fashion
Tonique Clay, 37, and daughter Toni Clay, 17, of Houston update their hippie chic look with metallic fanny packs. Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times

3. Flowers still got their exposure

Although it appeared that only a handful of Coachella attendees, including several men, wore flower crowns, florals of other varieties appeared, turning up on all-over prints and embroidery on shirts, fanny packs and dresses.

Coachella fashion
Melisa Occean, 31, of New York, wears just enough flowers on her dress to keep things interesting and transforms the flower crown into a chic, tighter base for her metallic unicorn horn. Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times

4. Skin in the game

The ethereal boho queen of Coachella — think fringe, cutoff denim shorts and that old-school Stevie Nicks look — has been joined by some saucy Coachella vixens fit for our extreme political era. In short order, we saw versions of the dominatrix, the sort-of cosplayer, the goth, the fantasy woman and the nearly nudist mixed among classic Coachella styles. And because of short shorts, see-through dresses and skirts as well as bikinis and chaps, we’ve seen plenty of backsides at the festival. After all, it’s hot out here.

Coachella fashion
Natalie Nguyen, 22, of San Jose keeps cool in shades of purple during Day 1 of the 2018 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times

5. The men of Coachella

We noticed that many male attendees are all about the prints at Coachella this year. In the crowds, we spotted shirts featuring prints of sumo wrestlers, flamingos, flowers and Steve Harvey (yes, that Steve Harvey!) as well as pants covered in African-inspired prints. And when they weren’t peacocking in their prints, the men of Coachella were busy showing off other hard-earned accessories — their abs.

Coachella fashion
Howard "Treble" Cox, 32, of St. Louis demonstrates multiple trends: bare skin, metallics and original headwear. Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times
Coachella style
Jose Lepucio, 23, of Des Moines color coordinates his snacks and accessories. Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times
Coachella fashion
Al Anderson, 37, of Atlanta went with a tropical fruit pattern on his shirt. Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times

6. Dressing for fantasy and drama

Coachella fashion
Bethany Dani, 23, and sister Brooke Wright, 35, of Los Angeles accentuate the drama of their dresses with a fan, jewelry and regal hair. Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times
Coachella fashion
McKenzie McClain, 22, of Baton Rouge, La. Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times

7. Sharp festival classics

Coachella fashion
Emmanuela Kubari, 19, and her sister Kani Kubari, 18, of San Diego, show how to adapt classic Grace Kelly-in-the-'50s glamour for the desert grounds of Coachella. Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times
Coachella fashion
Jeremy Brugo, 21, of Greenwich, Conn., and Amber Harrelson, 20, of San Diego, show off the classic look of Coachella. Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times

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