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What Katie did next: In which I kick Kate Moss out of the park

THEY came in droves. Hundreds, thousands of them, filing through the fields and wading through the mud. An all-female military, ranked, filed and dressed for battle in regulation uniform.

Their glorious, and oh so stylish, leader had dictated the trend through the pages of Grazia magazine and women all over Ireland had heard the call.

If Kate Moss can wear denim hot pants and wellies, they thought, well then so can bloody I.

Moss wore what has become an iconic outfit at Glastonbury back in 2005. Hundreds of thousands of women have followed suit since.

Even in little old Ireland, a country where, let's face it, women are not known for their lovely bottoms and caramel skin.

But, by God, we know how to follow a trend. I often think back to 2005, and the first women to take Moss's lead.

Every one of them must have arrived at the festival thinking they were going to kick this style curveball right out of the park.

 

Hot pants

But they weren't, as it transpired, the only ones reading Grazia...

Festivals are breeding grounds for new ideas. They are opportunities to see how a trend is germinated at the most primordial level, whether it's the crowd at the main stage, the popularity of a brand of dry shampoo or the plague of denim hot pants.

Ten years ago, you'd be hard-pressed to find appropriate footwear for a festival, these days high-street brands roll out a designated 'festival fashion' line.

Now, boring Barry from accounts can sport a Hawaiian shirt and a fisherman hat and show the world that he is a real character.

The reticent fella who works in your local shop can slip into an ironic statement T-shirt and declare that he has a voice, and that, yes, he gets jokes, too.

And your uptight and anal retentive landlord can put on a gypsy skirt and some jingly jangly bangles and play the Bohemian for the weekend... even though she was complaining about the broken gutter the last time you spoke.

I suppose you could call that progress. Fake it 'til you make it, and all that. Besides, where else can a right-wing capitalist discover how it feels to be a left-wing socialist? Even if only for a weekend.

Where else can sociopaths gain an insight – however brief – into the mind of the empath?

What other opportunities do you get to play with the parameters of your identity, to step out of your comfort zone and wear your ultimate fantasy outfits?

Where else could I, for instance,

get the chance to wear a head-to-toe zebra-print two-piece – crop top and harem pants – considering you're asking...

Assuming the sun backs me up, this outfit is getting rolled out at the first festival I attend this year. I think I've made a smart choice.

Festival fashion, let me remind you, requires planning. It takes a lot of effort to look like you haven't got a care in the world. And it takes years of trial and error to realise the dictums:

> Avoid costume, unless you have balls of steel. The question is not, "how will this look?", rather, "how will I look when I have inevitably lost all of my mates and I run into someone from work?"

> Avoid all-in-ones. Yes, playsuits and jumpsuits might look, to use women's magazine speak, "fun and flirty", but they are wholly inappropriate when it comes to Portaloos.

 

Bikinis

> Avoid bikinis. Come on, that's just showing off.

> Pack a blanket-sized scarf to wear, lie on and wrap yourself in when you're feeling fancy, a hoodie or three, and a trapper hat for the evening.

> Opt for clothes with pockets. Loads of them. More pockets than sense. Sure, you're on your holliers...

> Wear a bum bag. Granted, they're not exactly cool, but just look at the hippies. They all wear them and they've been festivaling since the Seventies. Hippies know what they're at.

> Dress for action. The most functional festival outfit I've ever seen was worn by my friend Ciara: black vest, black leggings, cincher belt and Nike Air Max. It helps that she's about seven foot tall, but my word, there was no stopping her that weekend...

Back to my zebra-print number. It has everything you could want from a festival outfit: fluorescent colours, elasticated waist, deep pockets and a flash of flesh.

Having attended somewhere in the region of 50 festivals and worn some of the most, shall we say, unseasonable outfits, I think I have finally nailed the perfect one.

I wonder if this is how Kate Moss felt the day she stepped into those hot pants... probably not.


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