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  • Dear Coachella, wish I was there! x

    Alas, this time of year has come round again and despite very good intentions (even better than those of last year) I have not made it to the Coachella Music Festival. I so wanted to go... The line up this year seemed wonderful - Kings of Leon, Chemical Brothers, The Strokes, Lauryn Hill, Cut Copy, Arcade Fire, Duran Duran, Mumford & Sons... Actually I'm not sure it's a good idea to go on with this list. It's making me sad because I know it's all happening right now, several thousand miles away and I am stuck in London, California dreaming. Next year I will make it happen. For sure. I don't know what happened this year. Suddenly April was here and I hadn't rounded up any friends/cash/time, not to mention booked a flight/tickets and although I knew it was too late to make it I still had a glimmer of quiet hope in my heart until the realisation hit me with a bang today - it's happening this weekend! I told my hairdresser about this fallen vague plan a couple of weeks ago and she wisely advised me to book a flight for next year as soon as I can and then I'll definitely go. A very simple but very good idea. Decisive action is the only way forward.  Knowing Coachella is happening right now has got me thinking though... about music festivals in general and there are many more to come this summer so all is not lost! There is always Glastonbury, The Isle of Wight Festival and The Big Chill in the U.K., Primavera, Benicassim International Festival and Sonar in Spain... Electric Elephant in Croatia, And Electric Picnic in Ireland...and Burning Man in September if California's still calling. I can safely say I am not going to make all of the above but I hope to make it to one or two and the meantime I will have to make some decisions and plans in order for that to happen... I now realise.  First thing's first and that is wardrobe planning...  At least if that's thought out I will have more time to think about other practicalities such as getting from A to B... Getting to B in the first place... Who with/How/When etc.  And so I've done a festival wardrobe guide as a reference for myself or for anyone else out there who might need a few ideas this summer.  Well the first thing I'd like to say about music festivals is that I think they are a bit of a Halloween dress-up affair... as in they offer an opportunity of escape to the masses.  Where are they escaping from? Well I don't know.  That depends and I wouldn't like to generalise but generally probably some sort of flat humdrum reality.  And where are they escaping to? Well I would say a parallel dimension that is created by people coming together under the warm cloak of a shared love of music, a desire for a good time and hopefully the sun.  There is always a very positive energy at music festivals that elevates all present to the sort of ethereal place depicted in music videos like MGMT's "Time to Pretend", Florence & the Machine's "The Dog Days Are Over" and Empire of the Sun's "We Are The People".  It is a place where nature is celebrated and nature rules.  It is the most natural thing in the world for humans to gather together to dance together.  They have been doing it since the very beginning of their time and a music festival today provides the door to go through from an artificial man-imposed world where people are so often boxed in to their little compartments  to this natural state of united free self-expression in the open air.  Of course people like to mark this voyage of transition with what they're wearing and that is, to me, one of the most interesting things about music festivals.  What are people wearing?  What tribe do they come from?  Of course people wear many different things on these occasions but one thing is for sure, the overall style of the crowd is brighter, more colourful and more individualistic than that of the crowds you see in the streets on an every day basis.  Face-paint, spiritual symbols, feathers, neon and glitter galore!  I wish people would dress like this all the time.  It seems that it is only accepted to dress like this if you work in the creative industries once you enter the real world.  Whoever decided a murky palette was the most suitable option for the corporate population who have overtaken this planet must have been a pretty dismal controlling being who was afraid of the power individual expression.  The power of individual expression may indeed have been muted on the everyday streets around the world but it is still loud and clear at music festivals.  Thank God for that!  Here are my picks for festivalwear for girls this summer: (I will do an edit for the boys soon)

    All things tribal/Native American/Aztec are perfect festival garb... Aztec zig-zags and geometric motifs refer to the beginning of civilisation which was certainly a more natural time than the one in which we are living.  One does not need to look further than Austique to find beautiful pieces along these lines:





    Wear feathers and feel free as a bird!





    Dreamy dyes to match sunset skies!




    Festival Wardrobe Staples:

    A classic white T-shirt is your wardrobe festival best friend. It will go with anything:


    Cut-off denim shorts - even better if they're splattered with silver paint!


    Stripes still ain't running anywhere these days:


    Keep chilled by day but by night keep the chill away:



    Scarves are always useful at a festival.  They can add colour to an outfit, warmth to your shoulders and even transform into a pillow should you want to lie down!




    - Aim high but wear wedges!

    Height is definitely an advantage at a music festival.  It allows you a better view and people are unlikely to push you so much if you get lost in the midst of a crowd.  Wedges are the way to go as you won't have any problems like getting a heel stuck in the grass and they're usually super comfy!




    And for when you'd like to come down to earth... make sure you walk in colour!


    Bring a bag but don't get bagged down!
    Small and light pieces work best on a long strap to sling over your shoulder:




    Bring a belt - be it rocknroll, quirky, beaded or boho!






    Festival Head Gear:

    Keep the sun out of your eyes with a classic straw trilby:


    Or bejewel your crown with a sparkling headband:



    Earrings - wear dangly bright earrings that can dance with you!





    Make a bright statement on your neck:



    Carry the mysteries of the world on a chain!



    On your wrist:

    Be bold with gold to reflect the sun:


    Make sure to wear lots of friendship bracelets to give to your new festival friends! (although you might not want to give any of these away unless you meet someone very special)







    Rings -
    wear them sharp and edgy




    Or wear the natural powers of semi-precious stones on your fingers and you shall have magic wherever you go:





    Festival Beauty & Skin Care:

    The Basics:

    First and foremost, protect yourself from the sun with a strong factor:


    These towelettes are a perfect way to top up during the day:


    The Weekbox is your perfect outdoor survival kit. It contains a set of three roll-ons, which are designed for outdoor weekends. Contains: BugSafe An antiseptic soothing shield. The synergy of organic vegetable and essential oils help to relieve the pain of insect bites (mosquitoes, wasps, spiders), while keeping them away. It also reduces redness, itching and the feeling of irritation. Head'Ake The synergy of essential oils in this roll-on soothe and calm the feeling of a heavy head, as well as tensions in the neck and shoulders...


    Soothe dry skin with Geranium Leaf Body Balm - it is a rich hydrating body balm designed for everyday use. Effective Geranium and Citrus extracts are boosted with skin-nourishing Carrot and Aloe Vera. The blend of geranium and citrus extracts in Geranium Leaf Body Balm is seductive and deeply invigorating. Together with Geranium Leaf Body Cleanser, Geranium Leaf Body Balm delivers an exhilarating sensory hit.


    Keep skin moist, glowing and fragrant with Nars Monoi Body Glow Oil. I cannot tell you how beautiful this smells. Summer paradise in a bottle:


    Another beautiful exotic summer fragrance is Tam Dao by Diptyque. Exude the scent of a rainforest with this spicy, musky scent deriving from rosewood, cypress and ambergris and sandalwood from Goa with this travel spray edition:


    For the Face:

    For the face, Eve Lom's travel refill set is the perfect size but will last you way longer than just a festival weekend:
    The cleanser will clean away all grime, the day cream has an inbuilt SPF 15 and the TLC cream is perfect for quenching parched skin at the end of a day in the sun.


    Fake a good night's sleep with Benefit's miracle Eyecon eye cream.
    With extracts of sweet almond, apple fruit and japonica leaf, this brightening eye cream fades dark circles and smoothes fine lines. Eyes will look refreshed and wide-awake!


    For Hair:

    This little set by Bumble and Bumble will keep your hair clean and in perfect condition:


    If you can't use a hairdryer, never fear! This rich cream by Philip Kingsley  tames frizz and calms curls to leave hair superbly shiny, under control and UV protected.


    And if you don't want the hassle of washing your hair, your hair needn't suffer!  This dry shampoo is a great option:


    Ok, most of us can't live without it but for festival make-up it is best to keep things as minimal as possible. The more products and brushes the more you might lose. Powders will melt so use cream based colours and use products that double up as two or incorporate a brush if you can.

    Keep face make-up light and natural so ditch the foundation and powder for the natural glow of a tinted moisturiser.
    Laura Mercier's illuminating tinted moisturiser incorporates a protective SPF 20.


    Concealer in a pen:


    And bronzer in a brush:


    Add colour to your cheeks or lips with a cream blusher:


    This lip-balm by Laura Mercier gives you colour and protection on the go in one easy-to-apply lipstick form.


    All I would use for eyes is a shimmery nude/gold offset with black eyeliner and mascara (WATERPROOF)


    This trustee black charcoal liner has an inbuilt brush for smudging and comes with a sharpener to keep your eyes looking sharp!



    But peacock hues can work very well for summer eyes too:


    Add sparkle and colour with a waxy eye crayon:


    And paint your nails in disco lights brights!


    And not to put a dampener on things but just in case the your sundance turns into a raindance...(unfortunately a strong possibility in Britain, Ireland and Northern Europe!)

    I love this waxed yellow jacket from Henri Lloyd. It reminds me of a jacket I had as a child and looks like you would have a lot of fun in it, even in the rain!


    All important Hunter wellies:


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