I'M BACK! Apologies for the lack of writing-related tidbits lately, I have been ruining myself in every way possible at Beach Break festival - and then recovering, of course. Glastonbury it probably wasn't, but a week in South Wales was actually a pretty amazing way to send off my increasingly distant student days; you'll be glad to know that I am an entire 1/3 of a shade more tanned.
However, over the days I often mused [over countless beakers of tent-warm box wine] how amazingly wrong people can get style at festivals. Yes, the idea is not to care; pack light, run free, be at one with people, nature and Wet Wipes and all that...but there’s no need to lose all sense of what the French call, ‘la faibulouse’. I mean, when all is said and done, there’s only so far that Topshop floral prints and a Strongbow Shower will take you.
So, here is a list of things that have really saved my life so far this festival season:
All Saints £175
I hate wellington boots. With a passion. They are heavy, ugly and if you are lucky enough with the weather not to need them, you have to haul the bastard things back home, never to be worn again. Instead, I opted for these Damisi boots, by All Saints; their sturdy, burnished leather endures against the worst that the Great British Summer can throw at you, and they are light enough so as not to be too hot in the sun.
Pearl & Ivy £25
I discovered Pearl & Ivy on a stall at Beach Break – they are a brand selling absolutely gorgeous hand-made feathered headbands and earrings. Using such plumes as pheasant and peacock, a band adds instant glamour to even the muddiest of outfits, with the detail and vivid colour gently drawing the eye away from your hideous, unwashed mane.
Philip Normal for Happy Shack, Camden £40
Vintage denim is always a strong look at festivals, but Normal adds a twist to the Levi’s classic 501 shorts with coloured studs and American flag detailing. Very comfortable too!
MAC ‘Old Gold’ pigment £15
Rather than carry around my usual plethora of eyeshadows, I invested in one strong, statement colour to wear in the evenings. MAC’s pigment is fantastic, with a range of vibrant colours that stand out in the dark, and a richness to the powder that means you won’t have to keep reapplying. I bought ‘Old Gold’, because, well, I like gold.
Baptiste Dry Shampoo Gold Shimmer £3-4
With no immediate access to anything remotely resembling a shower [unless you count that man who manages to wee on your tent each and every morning at 5am], it’s a relief to know that dry shampoo is on hand to absorb most of the sweat//mud/other in your hair. Baptiste is a pretty decent brand, apart from its slightly unsavoury scent, and this one leaves an attractive metallic shimmer [it comes in gold or silver]. I also sprayed some on my chest and arms – gold!
Barry M Nail Varnish £5
Cheap, cheerful, colourful. Can’t go wrong.
Hopefully by now you’ve gotten some ideas for some field-chic looks of your own; it’s always nice not to look like one of those crazy homeless women with a special attachment to brand-name plastic bags, isn’t it? If all else fails, I urge you to adhere to my three golden rules:
1) As previously stated - NO WELLIES. AT ANY TIME. EVER. Practical they may be, but I have yet to see a pair that looks good. On anyone. Go barefoot and run the risk of drowning in the mud if you have to, but leave them in the shed.
2) If, like me, you simply have to have separate day/night outfits, but don't want to pack too much, simply bring lots of jewellery to embellish with before the headliners start.
3) A little bit of glitter goes a long way.