Saturday 16 December 2017

Sophie Donaldson: I tried this season's most daring festival fashion trends - here's how it went

Sophie Donaldson wears the Tarlia Multi Sequin Plunge Playsuit and Aymeline Light Wash Distressed Oversized Denim Jacket from PrettyLittleThing.com. Picture: Frank McGrath
Sophie Donaldson wears the Tarlia Multi Sequin Plunge Playsuit and Aymeline Light Wash Distressed Oversized Denim Jacket from PrettyLittleThing.com. Picture: Frank McGrath
Sophie Donaldson wears the Tarlia Multi Sequin Plunge Playsuit and Aymeline Light Wash Distressed Oversized Denim Jacket from PrettyLittleThing.com. Picture: Frank McGrath
Sophie Donaldson wears Elana Black Ripped Denim Hotpants, Cherri Multi Sequin Eye Applique Halterneck Crop Top and Gold Holographic Rain Mac from PrettyLittleThing.com. Picture: Frank McGrath
Sophie Donaldson wears the Tarlia Multi Sequin Plunge Playsuit and Aymeline Light Wash Distressed Oversized Denim Jacket from PrettyLittleThing.com. Picture: Frank McGrath
Sophie Donaldson wears the Tarlia Multi Sequin Plunge Playsuit from PrettyLittleThing.com. Picture: Frank McGrath
Sophie Donaldson wears Liberty Green Sequin Disc Halterneck Crop Top and Nicoli Black Pearl Embellished Denim Short from PrettyLittleThing.com. Picture: Frank McGrath
Sophie Donaldson wears the Jaz Silver Metallic Knit Cowl Neck Mini Dress, Ellie White Sequin Fringed Jacket, Blue High Waisted Denim Shorts and Kelie Yellow Tinted Lens Aviators from PrettyLittleThing.com. Picture: Frank McGrath
Sophie Donaldson

Sophie Donaldson

2017 is a confusing time to be a festi-gal.

Gone are the days when a pair of Wellingtons was enough. Today’s festi-gal has so much more to consider; will my Claddagh ring be mistaken for cultural appropriation? Can I do gorpcore? And, most pressingly, what is ‘daytime sequin’?

It’s been four years since I went to Longitude, and my, how things have changed. Festival fashion was only just emerging as a 'thing'. In the lead-up to Coachella this year, Bloomingdales department store in New York dedicated its entire Lexington Avenue window display to the cause.

Four years ago I wore an old vintage shirt and novelty pineapple sunglasses but now, with every high street store touting a dedicated festival collection, kooky eyewear doesn’t cut the mustard. Festival goers are curating their outfits months in advance and festival dressing has become, quite frankly, a political minefield. Feathered headdresses were never a good idea, but add henna tattoos, cornrows, Nath nose rings and jewelled Bindis to the list of things you shouldn't co-opt as a fashion statement.

Add the looming spectre that is Instagram, used to document every outfit worn by stylish festival-goers at Glastonbury, and the pressure to look picture-perfect intensifies.

But fear not, my festi-friends! In the name of investigative journalism I have road tested some of the more daring festival trends of 2017 so you don’t have to.

We are halfway through festival season and with Longitude kicking off today and Castapalooza, Another Love Story, Indiependence and Electric Picnic still to come, consider me your human barometer when it comes to deciding how much sequin is too much sequin, and if those pearl-encrusted shorts are really such a good idea if you are not a nubile nineteen-year-old.

At a festival, Day-One-you is not going to resemble Day-Three-you. Where Day-One-you was fabulous, with carefully applied facial jewels and an intricate braid, Day-Three-you has a grey pallor and that braid has started to matt into a large, single dreadlock.

To counter the effects of sleeping in a tent, or not sleeping at all, you are going to need some distraction; enter this sequin cape. Come Day Three, chuck it over your dress/dungarees/muddy shirt and voila! Instant razzle dazzle. It’s ideal for a boogie and with all that flailing sequin, no one is going to notice you’ve only got one false eyelash in. Add tinted shades if necessary.

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Sophie Donaldson wears the Jaz Silver Metallic Knit Cowl Neck Mini Dress, Ellie White Sequin Fringed Jacket, Blue High Waisted Denim Shorts and Kelie Yellow Tinted Lens Aviators from PrettyLittleThing.com. Picture: Frank McGrath

If you are going all-out sequin, you may as well go all-in-one sequin with a tiny shimmering playsuit. But if you are attempting a deep-V neckline I’ve got two words; tit tape. Whether you are an E-cup or B-cup (or A-minus, as I fondly refer to myself) you are going to need some reinforcement for this little number. A fitted white tee underneath would offer you both modesty and warmth, if either of those appeal to you. If not, stand tall and tape yourself in because this neckline is as flimsy as your budget Argos tent.

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Sophie Donaldson wears the Tarlia Multi Sequin Plunge Playsuit and Aymeline Light Wash Distressed Oversized Denim Jacket from PrettyLittleThing.com. Picture: Frank McGrath

I’m going to end this on a high. If you only buy one thing this festival season, let it be this jacket. Yes, it’s a holographic wind breaker, but stay with me. It will keep you mostly dry and it does indeed give you respite from the wind. The metallic material actually looks better with creases and crinkles, so scrunching it up in a backpack adds to its appeal. The texture also allows you to use a baby wipe to remove any mud/sick that might have found its way onto you.

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Sophie Donaldson wears Elana Black Ripped Denim Hotpants, Cherri Multi Sequin Eye Applique Halterneck Crop Top and Gold Holographic Rain Mac from PrettyLittleThing.com. Picture: Frank McGrath

Buy one size up and you’ll have plenty of room for a jumper or three when the temperature drops and most importantly, it will disguise the food baby you will have developed after a three-day diet of curry chips and Smirnoff Ice. I consider my job done. Shine on, you crazy diamonds.

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