The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival‘s brand is built upon showstopping performances like Bad Bunny’s Friday night headlining set or much-talked-about moments like the Blink-182 reunion in the Sahara Tent.
But one aspect of the festival that you can only experience on the grounds is the showstopping fashion, sometimes quite literally, as festivalgoers stop, drop and pose for a selfie.
For two weekends, the lush green field at the Empire Polo Club becomes a catwalk for festivalgoers. The giant colorful art installations and the festival’s signature Ferris wheel with the San Jacinto Mountains in the distance provide scenic backdrops for fashionable festivalgoers to create their own set of digital souvenirs.
During the day it’s not uncommon to see friend groups in matching loud prints or perhaps dressed up as characters. Where’s Waldo? Often at Coachella.
While many festivalgoers opt for the comfort of T-shirts, tank tops and shorts, others look at the festival as an opportunity to show off their own handiwork.
Big, bright colors are still in, as is showing skin — Coachella is in the desert, after all.
Take a look at some of the most memorable outfits we came across at the festival, and the inspiration behind them.
We’ll be updating this gallery throughout the weekend, so check back for more fashion from the field.
Fashion designer Shauna Brohier, 23, traveled from Sydney to attend Coachella for the first time.
“I do festival and clubbing wear so I wanted to promote myself and my own outfits. I just love this outfit,” she said.
The top, cut in a halter style, featured an aqua mesh material paired with a colorful stretch print with geometric shapes and long pink fringe — with sequins — hanging below the bust.
She was looking forward to seeing Frank Ocean and Burna Boy at the festival.
Walter Calvillo, 31, traveled from Mexico City for his first Coachella trip with fashion on his mind.
Last year he attended the Tomorrowland festival and decided, “This year is for Coachella.”
He handmade his outfit for Friday, spending three weeks hand-sewing the sparkles onto the sleeveless red snakeskin-patterned jumpsuit. He also attached crystals to his hat.
Sara Wilcox, 25, of Las Vegas selected her green checkerboard-patterned jacket and pants to show off street style that matched the tone of some of the big performances on Friday.
“I was thinking Pusha T, Metro [Boomin] and Bad Bunny. I was going for a street style type of look.”
She described it as “colorful but chill.”
And, she said, it kept her covered from the sun during the day and warm during the cool, windy night.
“My inspiration today was just a fun summer vibe. I mixed a woman’s see-through dress with some blue jean shorts and I made it fashion,” said 22-year-old Zion Harris of Los Angeles.
Harris is a dancer and will perform with Rosalía on the festival’s main stage Saturday.
Kade Jones’ Coachella look was inspired by Versace. The 26-year-old from Los Angeles crafted his own top made of loose chains in a halter style.
It took him 24 hours and he used crystal beads and rhinestone chains. Jones made a second one for a friend.
“My fit today is just fun-inspired,” said Desjonae Hixon, 25, of San Diego.
She wore a colorful furry coat on the first night of Coachella, paired with white rectangular-framed sunglasses with pink lenses and a crocheted pink hat.
She described it as “funky, fresh, rainbow because I’m gay as f—. You just have to be out and loud and proud.”
Jon Andre Parrilla, 23, and Jeffrey Perez, 24, both of Connecticut, sported a Coachella look inspired by what Parrilla described as “extravagant, flowy, liberating desert vibes.”
“Fashion is our favorite form of self-expression and I love Coachella because you can live up to your fullest potential without any judgment,” Parrilla said.
Raeya Necochea, 25, of Walnut Creek, sported a cow-print ensemble for the first day of the festival.
“I wanted an outfit that accentuated who I am as a bold and outgoing woman. The cow print, boots, blinged-out hat and red lips to match just felt right,” she said.
Josh Hallquist had a costume change planned once he arrived at Coachella on Sunday.
The 31-year-old from Los Angeles ditched his shorts and T-shirt for a full bodysuit covered in mirrors in geometric shapes.
“I was not about to sit on a shuttle, sweating away,” Hallquist said.
Frank Ocean and Hallquist’s friends were among the reasons to attend the festival.
“I like music, I like to serve a look.”
Kayley O’Neal has attended Coachella with her mom since 2017. Now 18, the San Diego resident enjoyed the freedom of being able to do more of the things she wanted to do at the fest, such as being in the mosh pit and meeting new people with similar music interests.
“I wanted to bring something unique, trendy and appeasing to the eye. I wanted to get away from the denim, the flowers, the fringe and the lace so I went with a metallic, ‘out of this world look,’” she said about her silver metallic dress.
One of the things she loved about the festival?
“Bonding with my mom and making new memories.”
Pop culture inspired the Coachella outfits of festival attendees Derek Muhammad and Miles Woods.
Muhammad, a 25-year-old from Atlanta, said “Everything Everywhere All at Once” is one of his favorite movies and the film features Stephanie Hsu wearing pearls in a pivotal scene of the movie.
“I’m like, ‘Hell yeah, I can rock pearls.’”
Muhammad’s top was made of strings of different sizes, with a crucifix in the middle.
Meanwhile, Woods’ Coachella look included silvery spiky nails inspired by X-Men character Lady Deathstrike.
“I just love how she was fierce and just fought against Wolverine. That’s what I try to embody every day.”
The 29-year-old from Glendale also sported a T-shirt-turned-halter-top that denounced racism and a pair of zebra-print pants.
Jesus Mendoza wanted to blend elements from three different areas in his Coachella style.
The 23-year-old wore a flower and palm-print shirt “full of South Beach Miami swagger” with a pair of black leather pants featuring a Western style cross stitch as a nod to “the desert environment of Coachella.”
Mendoza also incorporated “the urban style of Los Angeles based on the leather material on the pants and silver hardware scattered from my Givenchy shoe buckles to my jewelry.”
This story originally appeared on LA Times