Playing Dress Up
And Coachella–where an adult can be a kid.
One of my favorite things about fashion is the ability it grants us to assume different identities. I have always appreciated that in a gesture as simple as changing my skirt, I could metamorphose from preppy book nerd with propensity towards fresh cut carrots to professional female ping pong player with Tom Hanks’ name tattooed to my ass. This, even if I am neither of the two.
On my last trip to Coachella, I decided I would not to dress like a parody of myself (or, you know, the lovechild of a native American/hippie romance on acid). In looking back at previous festival photos, I had to ask myself why I thought a flower crown paired with an airy tent-shaped tank, shorts teetering on denim underwear and heavy black combat boots seemed so damn novel in prior years. I became hyper-cognizant of what I did not want to look like and as the weekend went on, held that up against what many of the more adventurous show goers did look like.
My deduction: Coachella is a desert themed Halloween party that may or may not demarcate the inauguration of summer. (For those of us from the east coast, at least.) Some people hate this and there is no question that the media has had a field day mocking what the festival has become in a most enjoyably comical fashion but 200,000 people later, I have to wonder: is getting dressed up for Coachella precisely where the magic lies?
In spite of style’s ability to allow us interchangeable identities, there is an overarching sense of self-consciousness when considering everyday clothing. In fact, the paradoxical hunger to appear as an authentic projection of yourself while still adhering to what seems socially “normal” often clouds the idea that we are even capable of painting our own personae in various fabrics. You’re wearing what you’re wearing because you have it and not for any other reason, right? Wrong. You’re wearing it because you bought it because you loved it because in some distant Cosmo, it represented a piece of who you are. Or at the very least, who you want to be.
When dressing up, these intentions become more lucid. You’re hungry to try something different because you either admire it or need a vacation from yourself. When dressed up, you get to throw out your everyday sense of propriety. (Most people don’t wear flower crowns and various layers of fringe that cloak barely-there bikini tops and daisy dukes on the regular, right?) But when everyone agrees to ignore the typical “rules,” what you’re left with is pure fun.
I commend festival denizens taking the opportunity to dress the part. Here’s hoping the best bits of those assumed identities make it into their everyday lives. Frankly, I for one don’t even know how I lived before I met the above photographed white diaper (yes, the one laced with black linen inserts), which, unlike most other microshorts I know, was so over-zealously eager to celebrate and simultaneously cover my hoo-ha. That’s consideration.
What are your thoughts on playing parts, dressing up, breaking hearts? Talk to me.