Gentle reader,

A couple of interesting things happened on the fashion front in Southern California this past weekend:  the MTV Movie Awards and the Coachella Music Festival.  And when I say interesting, I use it in the way of when you meet a friend for lunch and she’s wearing some God-awful embroidered thing and you can’t say anything nice about her hair because that’s a mess, too, so you say, “Gosh, that’s an interesting frock you’re wearing.  Is it Peruvian?”

Allessandra Ambrosio

Allessandra Ambrosio

She’ll probably say, “No, it’s from Chico’s.  I got it on sale.”  By then, you’ll hopefully be able to hide your disdain behind the menu that the hostess handed you accompanied by a sympathetic look that says, I know, honey.  I have friends who dress like that, too.  But I don’t go out in public with them.

The people at Sunday’s MTV Movie Awards weren’t so lucky because they didn’t have menus.  They had to sit back and watch the whole mess that was going down right in front of them.  One girl in a lovely strapless ball gown was so distraught by the ugly suit that Will Ferrell was wearing as he accepted his “Comedic Genius” award that she scribbled some words on her chest with a Sharpie and walked up on stage to try and steal his trophy.  That’s fucked up, right?

Somewhat less tragic was the first weekend of the Coachella Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio but I wasn’t there to witness that in person, either.  The closest I’ve come was stick-and-balling a couple of polo ponies on the grounds a few days before last year’s music fest started as hundreds upon hundreds of Porta Potties were being trucked into a neighboring field.  There is no way in hell I’d be hanging out at any event that required that many Porta Potties, but I’d interested to see what those bitches would be wearing because my first experiences with music festivals I didn’t attend were during my youth in England, where the constant rain means that everyone looked like they’d been mud wrestling rather than listening to their favorite bands.  The fact that Coachella takes place out in the California desert made me think that the crowds would be dressed more like the crazies at Burning Man with their shaved heads, tutus and body paint and, from many of the photos I’ve seen, I wasn’t far off.  The celebrities that turn up en masse at the Festival to cheer on their rock star boyfriends or attend parties for fashion labels making a bid to become cooler, on the other hand, are a great indication of what people will be wearing this coming summer.

Kate Bosworth

Kate Bosworth

Let me start off by suggesting you leave the tutus to Carrie Bradshaw in the opening credits of Sex and the City.  The big summer trend for 2013 looks to be short shorts with grungy boots or worn-out trainers.  The shorts can be any color, though the traditional faded indigo denim is a safe choice.  Alessandra Ambrosio looked great in her bright pink shorts at the Lacoste party, but I can’t think of many things she wouldn’t look great in.

On the top half, oversized T-shirts can balance out those barely-there bottoms or you could go with a blousy button down in crisp cotton.  The key is proportion:  if you’re baring your legs, cover your top.

The best accessories seemed to be tribal or vintage bracelets and belts with that well worn look of the LAB Accessories line that we covered a couple of weeks ago and the whole look can be capped off with a floppy hat like the ones that made a splash at Slimane’s first Saint Laurent show.

This whole Coachella thing reminded me of fashion journalist Tim Blanks’ article after last September’s Spring 2013 Versace show in Milan stating that the tie-dyed collection was made for the Versace goddess to toss into a shoulder bag and drive to the festival in a pickup truck with Queens of the Stone Age blaring on the radio.  Um, yeah.  I’ll tell you now that there is no way the typical Versace client is going to pile into a truck with a backpack and head out to Indio, but I did see his point.  So I wandered down to the Versace boutique on Via Rodeo for the first time in years to see what was going on.  As you might imagine, most of their looks for spring are great if you’re a leggy Brazilian supermodel.  I’m really not sure where to go from there except that there was a gorgeous tangerine silk tunic for only $1,825 and that included the matching belt!  Or you could take that two grand and stock up on Daisy Dukes and T-shirts.  Either way, just remember to have fun.

Much love,

xxJames

Coachella Fashion

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