Festival season is well and truly upon us and alongside the logistical bottom-half of those jeans rooted from the back of the wardrobe, that would typically be worn while painting and the pair of wellies lent from your dad, some accidental fashion icons are lurking deep in the muddy fields.
Waves of tie-dye garments in various formats emulate how clothing behaviours past the turnstiles make the usual outsiders fit in with the crowd. But how, it begs the question, did this haven of left-field fashion come to be?
It started on the other side of the stage, behind the microphone. Where the characters that have defined generations of music almost inadvertently shaped what their faithful following donned to future concerts.
And this was all done by the very musicians that ‘fest’ folk hope and pray were too hip to have stylists. It’s hard to imagine Ian Brown or one of the Gallagher brothers having any external input on their dress code other than which warehouse of Adidas shoes they will be taking their pick from.
And few too many of the brands’ suede trainers will fall victim in the festival trenches this Summer, as will a host of other reoccurring fashion statements that lend a large part of their origins to the music scene.
The tie-dye movement was born during the 1960s, popularised by the likes of The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix. ‘Hippies’ began to parade the tie-dye as a symbol of peace and that image gained particular traction during the Vietnam War.
And music played its part in the Anti-Vietnam message, with Joe Cocker becoming a significant voice in the protests. His emotional rendition of the Beatles’ “With a Little Help From My Friends” at Woodstock in 1969 while wearing the mystic tie-dye is simply the stuff of musical legend.
Like the previously mentioned Adidas trainer, the bucket hat soon became popular attire for the Casual culture in the 1980s, and was eventually adopted as a high fashion item, in a new wave of street fashion.
And from the streets of Manchester came the likes of The Stone Roses and later Oasis, who both contributed to the explosion of the bucket hat on the festival circuit. Affectionately known to many as The Session Hat or The Reni Hat (in homage to Stone Roses drummer Alan ‘Reni’ Wren) the bucket hat, like the music of those who famously adopted it, has stood the test of time.
Images of a horde of helmetless mods, all with the back of their Parka jackets cautiously hanging over the back of their Vespa’s perhaps shows how health and safety among subcultures has moved on – but fashion hasn’t.
Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher can be credited with leading the resurgence of the fishtail Parka, and has also reincarnated the wearing of tinted spectacles that became synonymous with John Lennon.
It’s almost a certainty that Gallagher won’t be the only artist performing on stage this Summer sporting the fashion icons of his predecessors, as the revolving door of festival fashion continues.