Gusts of wind blew sand on a crowd of more than 100,000 people as they waited in anticipation of the first Coachella 2022 headline performance. A soft whistle began to play, and a silhouette appeared on the stage. The words “holding me back, gravity’s holding me back,” sang loud while the crowd screamed Harry Style’s name. The 28-year-old singer had fans in tears when he removed his black fur overcoat to reveal a Gucci sequin jumpsuit underneath, and then again when he welcomed Shania Twain on stage to sing “Man! I Feel Like A Woman.” After two years of cancellation, festivalgoers finally returned to Palm Springs for the first weekend celebrating in fringe outfits, cowboy boots, dainty sequin tops, beaded hair and jeweled makeup.
Fusing edgy inspiration with a sparkly western vision, outfits pivoted each day with so many different approaches to festival fashion. Brands like Dior and Coach invited social media celebrities to attend the weekend, exclusive events and wear their collections. Satin sets, cross body and designer shoulder bags appeared through the crowds giving rise to a sense of luxury in this year’s weekend one wardrobe, while low-rise jeans with plain black tank tops gave way to a sense of causality as well. But this year also generated a backlash on the influencer industry, resulting in people renaming Coachella as “the influencer olympics” due to an increase in the number of individuals that were invited to stay with a brand and didn’t even go to the actual festival. However, for those that made it inside the gates, the rush of euphoria during performances from Billie Eilish, Doja Cat, The Weeknd, Conan Gray, Flume, etc., felt the essence of what it means to be in the middle of that desert.