The Whys Behind Festival Fashion

The summer music festival season has begun, with Millennials poring over their newsfeeds in anticipation of the festivities. It’s debatable as to whether these events are still about the music, or have instead become an avenue for Millennials to see and be seen. Festivals have grown from a music outlet to a snapshot of youth culture. Nowhere is this more evident than with the unique rules at play when it comes to festival fashion. Festival wear is distinctly different, as girls flock to outdoor venues draped in Grecian-inspired maxi dresses, flower-crown headpieces, face paint, day-glo crop tops, and daisy duke jean shorts. When teens are seen dressed in neon spandex from head to toe in the NYC subway, it is clear that they are probably headed to the Electric Daisy Carnival. But despite the fact that the media will use photos of Millennials in Coachella garb to represent the everyday youth population, Millennials obviously aren’t wearing the full-on festival ensembles in their daily lives. Today we’re looking closer at the difference between festival and street fashion to figure out what it all means to Millennials. 

Late teen and twenty-something Millennials have reached the age of self-discovery at a difficult time. Many college grads have moved back home and are finding it difficult to secure full-time employment in today’s saturated job market, leaving them in limbo between independence and the inability to support themselves financially. Music and fashion have always provided the ultimate escape from the stresses of daily life, and now more than ever Millennials need this escape. For them, festivals have become an escapist showcase, a creative display far outside the realm of normal life. Whether for a couple of hours or several days, festivals allow attendees to step into a…

 
 

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“I observe holidays and religion-based traditions but am more connected to it as a culture than as a religion.”—Female, 27, MA

Chinese youth have a “selfie obsession” that’s changing beauty standards and creating a new tier of celebrity. The Influencer Effect is full blown in China, where young consumers are beautifying their selfies via filter apps like Meitu and plastic surgery—all in the quest to look more like wang hong, their internet celebrities. One influencer, HoneyCC, argues that “Selfies are part of Chinese culture now, and so is Meitu-editing selfies.” But some say the trend is pushing the population to become more homogenous by favoring certain features, and headlines have lashed back against the whitening of skin prevalent in social apps. (The New Yorker)

Eighty-one percent of Bustle, Romper, and Elite Daily’s Millennial readers say social media is the best way for advertisers to reach them. Bustle’s latest questionnaire also found that 40% of their 18-34-year-old readers prefer Instagram for brand communications, followed by trusted websites, email, and online articles. Some other fun insights: Over half believe that a company should give back, instead of just turning a profit, and 49% think “companies should do more to protect the environment.” (Adweek)

Drug use is down among teens—except when it comes to marijuana and vaping. From the 1990s to 2017, the percentage of teens who said they’d been drunk dropped from 46% and 58%, and those reporting they’ve smoked cigarettes from 26% and 17%. However, marijuana use increased for the first time in seven years in 2017, while vaping is up as well, with at least 19% of high school seniors, 16% of sophomores, and 8% of eighth-graders saying they’ve vaped in the past year. (LATimes)

Two modern dating shows are coming to Facebook Watch. The first “unscripted dating show” from SoulPancake, Love & Longitude, is shot on iPhones and shows two potential love interests’ relationship blossoming across FaceTime, social media, and other digital interactions. The second dating show from Machinima, Co-Op Connection, plays into the esports craze. One bachelor gets to pick his partner based on their personality—and their skills at the videogame, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. (tubefiltertubefilter)

Some cities are past their “peak Millennial” populations, as the generation increasingly finds new digs in the suburbs. Boston, Chicago, and Los Angeles all reached their highest Millennial population in 2015, and New York and Washington D.C. are showing slowing Millennial growth, according to U.S. Census data. Meanwhile Chicago’s suburbs and others have seen an uptick in their young adult populations—another Millennial myth debunked. Which urban centers are still attracting the demo as they age up? “Tech hubs” like Seattle and San Francisco. (Time)

“Crochet and knitting are very relaxing, therapeutic, and have tangible results."—Female, 31, AL

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