LV Life Editor
With Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival 2023 having kicked off the festival season, people can expect to see unique and new fashion trends. Each festival season brings a trend that becomes all the rage. Some may recycle an old trend while adding a modern twist.
One thing is for certain – there is no set look when it comes to festival fashion, allowing guests to express themselves freely in whatever manner they choose.
Hector Lomeli, junior criminology major, and Frances Jones, junior business marketing major, frequently attend raves. Both attended Beyond Wonderland this year, which took place March 24 and 25, and said most of the guests stick with the theme of a rave when choosing an outfit.
“Beyond Wonderland was an Alice in Wonderland theme,” Lomeli said. “I decided to roll with the theme and be the King of Hearts to resemble the Queen of Hearts from the film.”
Jones took inspiration from the Red Queen, the antagonist from Tim Burton’s rendition of “Alice in Wonderland,” (2010), for her Beyond Wonderland attire. She wore an off-shoulder red dress with white roses on it, then complemented it with black fishnets, black boots and a red pashmina. Jones said this outfit remains her favorite festival piece.
“My favorite color is red, and I feel like that dress really complimented my body,” Jones said. “I truly felt like myself and with the complement of glitter and makeup, I got so many compliments from others.”
Steven Morales and Janelle Huerta, owners of The Rave Box in Claremont, said they enjoy how rave fashion keeps evolving over time.
“It’s the way the community comes together to create a certain look that everyone goes for a certain time, then it just changes in the blink of an eye,” Morales said. “It just keeps it more exciting to see.”
Morales and Huerta are a couple who have been attending festivals together since 2010. They were inspired to start their own festival clothing business because they had a hard time finding clothes to wear to festivals. From there, they created a business straight out of their garage. People could order a mystery box from their online store, which would consist of an outfit, accessories and a hydration pack to bring to festivals. The business evolved into a clothing store in Upland, but eventually, the couple brought it to Claremont because of the large college student population.
Their move was not well received due to the negative perception of festival clothing.
“Sometimes there’s a little less coverage (in festival fashion) that people are not used to, so they’re appalled by it,” Morales said. “People who are not educated in fashion, not only the music festival scene but in general, don’t understand it.”
The couple agreed that what people do not understand about the difference in rave fashion is that it is meant to be out there, it is supposed to be fun.
“Every year, I see something different for a festival, so it’s cool,” Huerta said. “People dress in dark colors, bright colors, super covered up, not covered up. Everybody expresses themselves differently. Sometimes the old trends come back a couple of festivals (later) and it keeps rotating. It keeps it fun.”
Lomeli said the outfit he had the most fun with was the one he wore to Escape Halloween in October 2022. He went as a space cowboy with reflective pants and a light-up cowboy hat.
“What I like most about rave fashion is how people can be themselves in a sense of fashion without being criticized,” he said. “I know (rave fashion) does receive a negative impression because people are so used to wearing simple clothes, not to the outfits people wear to raves. It’s a norm we all have to unite and change because (raves) are a place where people (can) feel safe to wear what they want.”
Jones said rave fashion is starting to become more accepted as people want to start being comfortable with who they are, including what they choose to wear. Rave fashion allows people to be as expressive as they want.
“I love the creativity of rave fashion,” she said. “You can practically wear anything to a rave and someone, somewhere, will compliment you. People will go full out for a rave with their outfits, makeup, even glitter. People just want to be free and comfortable in who they are.”
Taylor Moore can be reached at email@example.com.