We present you: the best, weirdest and most memorable looks of famous festival-goers over the years.
Coachella gives the world so much. There’s live music. The California heat. And most importantly, celebrity fashion antics. Each spring, as stars get down in the desert, they reveal a new side to their styles sans red-carpet regulations and Hollywood dress codes. The result? Downright iconic Coachella outfits that feature a mishmash of flower crowns, vaguely boho-inspired accessorizing and a sea of statement patterns that, for better or worse, has left an indelible mark on pop culture.
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Over the years, the norms of Coachella fashion have skewed from breezy and carefree aesthetics at best, to cultural appropriation at worst. Even still, certain famous festival-goer get-ups live on in internet history for being objectively unforgettable. In light of the 2023 music festival kicking off on April 14, FASHION highlighted the most memorable Coachella celebrity moments of all time — in no particular order.
Vanessa Hudgens, 2012
It’s not hard to see why Vanessa Hudgens has been ordained the ultimate embodiment of Coachella fashion. Each season, the professional festival attendee has refined hippie-in-the-desert dressing with her crocheted tops, denim cut-offs and floral head adornments, as seen by a shoe-less Hudgens in 2012.
Paris Hilton, 2015
The cat ears. The bedazzled flats. The turquoise patterned sheer caftan. We could expect nothing less from Paris Hilton at Coachella circa 2015. You may think this look is a relic of its time…exactly *checks notes* eight years ago. But Hilton makes her own trends — and is still sporting animal-inspired head adornments to this day.
Harry Styles, 2022
On any given occasion, Harry Styles’s style can be accurately described as “chaotic good.” So at the most anticipated American music festival of the year, this sartorial whimsy is taken to the next level. Naturally, in 2022, the artist wore a rainbow sequin one-piece from Gucci — a harbinger of many bedazzled jumpsuits to come.
Zoë Kravitz, 2015
Ever the effortlessly cool dresser, Zoë Kravitz’s Coachella looks are just as emblematic of refined personal style as her street ensembles. In 2015, the actor went grunge in a sea of flower crowns, wearing combat boots, a punky plaid romper and a bold statement choker.
Jared Leto, 2014
Before he was dressing up as his own twin at the 2022 Met Gala, Jared Leto was taking much bigger fashion risks: pairing zebra-patterned pants with red and white plaid. This small snapshot of 2014’s Coachella has become not only a source of Halloween costume inspiration but a historical document of mid-2010s fashion.
In 2018, Beyoncé made history as the festival’s first Black female headliner. To viewers’ delight, her viral performances were full of custom outfit changes, courtesy of Balmain. Case in point: this hot pink cropped hoodie and denim micro-shorts, which were paired with holographic fringe Christian Louboutin boots.
Jasmine Tookes, 2018
Dare we say this was…the best look ever? The model’s 2018 ensemble is both oh-so-Coachella and timeless. The hat is satisfyingly wide-brimmed. The bracelets are stacked to mismatched perfection. The lace bralette is complemented by a billowing panelled maxi skirt. In short, it’s all the best things about festival fashion.
Katy Perry, 2012
Perry has been churning out unique festival outfits for years. Perhaps the most memorable? The delicious randomness of this 2012 get-up. Together, her violet-blue hair, sequin rose motif mini-dress and tattered tights possess an intentionally unkempt coolness that is perfect for sweating in the desert.
Lizzo and Janelle Monáe, 2019
This on-stage moment between Lizzo and Janelle Monáe dominated social media feeds in 2019, not only because of its inherent meme potential but because it captures the whacky glory of festival fashion. Where else can Lizzo’s fringe apron and cowboy boots look masterfully cohesive alongside Monáe’s silver sequin leggings?
Kendall and Kylie Jenner, 2015
2015 was big for the youngest sisters of the KarJenner gang. It was the year that Kylie Jenner launched her lip kit empire and the first time that Kendall Jenner walked in the Victoria’s Secret fashion show (remember those?). They were also Coachella regulars — the former serving a rotation of colourful hairstyles and the latter opting for layered jewelry. Time flies.
Gigi Hadid, 2015
The key to dressing for a concert in the desert? Light fabrics and heavy accessories. In 2015, Gigi Hadid adorned her simple white dress with delicate necklaces and a chunky brown belt, and her blonde beach waves with a paisley bandana. She also added foot, finger and arm jewelry. Most importantly — like a seasoned festival pro — she ditched her shoes.
Rihanna has long been known to turn heads at Coachella, because, like in all her other endeavours, she subverts expectations. Take 2018, when the mogul eschewed flower child festival dressing for utilitarian cargo pants and a hot pink bodysuit by Fenty x Puma Spring 2018. Among other looks this year were a balaclava and impossibly slouchy thigh-high boots.