It's back to the '90s for Wine Country festival fashion
With Beyonce and Eminem opening the two-weekend Coachella Music Festival in Southern California this weekend, and big events closer to home like BottleRock, Outside Lands and Country Summer not far behind, local fashionistas are starting to get serious about their go-to summer festival looks, from body suits topped with kimonos to distressed denim jeans and jackets.
We spoke to a few of the buyers for some of Wine Country's most popular boutiques about the pieces they are stocking up on for the summer concert season, whether it be fringe for the fringe festivals or vintage denim for country and newgrass gatherings.
Short story: there's a lot more of the '70s redux we've been seeing for the past couple of years, but the '90s are finding their way into the mix as folks reach back to a time 20 plus years ago that is officially vintage, too.
Here are a few of the looks that are trending now.
Faded, flowing and flowery
At Bow N Arrow in Cotati, 23-year-old owner and designer Mercedes Hernandez carries all kinds of fun pieces, from fringe tops and distressed denim shorts and skirts to your basic, go-to denim jackets with jeans.
“Light-washed denim-on-denim is in,” she said. “It has that vintage look, and a lot of my customers prefer the vintage style.”
Hernandez is also seeing florals continue to grow in popularity, especially on long, flowing pieces that are feminine and so summery.
“Kimonos are a great, great summer piece that a lot of people are drawn to,” she said. “They are like a flowy cardigan.”
The kimonos offer sun cover and are often thrown over a pair of shorts, a tank top and a pair of cute, summer sandals for a fun, breezy look.
For cool weather festivals like San Francisco's Outside Lands in mid-August, you may want to get in line to buy something from her own, cozy but cool line - the Gramps Collection - which includes vintage flannel shirts embossed with band tees on the back.
Although she passed on Coachella this year, which is held in the hot, sandy desert town of Indio, Hernandez said she is going to try to make it to BottleRock, which will uncork May 25 to 27 in Napa.
Bold stripes, jumpsuits
As the founders of Ooh La Luxe boutiques in Petaluma, Santa Rosa and Healdsburg, Cristina Wilson Hudlin and her twin sister, Michelle Wilson Bien, outfit many of the fashion-forward festival-goers of the North Bay and beyond through their brick-and-mortar stores as well as their extensive online catalog.
Lacy dusters, and long fringe reminiscent of the boho-chic looks of the '70s are a few of the trends continuing this year for those who want to stand out in the crowd. And the colors are bolder than ever.
“I feel like fringe and bright colors are in style right now,” Cristina said. “Florals are really huge. One of our best selling dresses for Coachella is the Indio dress. It's a bright red floral dress with a flattering cut.”
Along with body suits, cropped tops and off-the-shoulder tops, jumpsuits have circled back to fashion, and you can even find some that are two, separate pieces in order to show a little more skin, and provide practicality to boot.
“We just released our Riviera set, with a separate, striped top and bottom,” she said. “A lot of people are just wearing the pants with a cropped halter. It's very '70s. It sold out in a couple of hours.”
Along with the flowy jumpsuits, the boutiques carry the Cristina skinnies, a stretchy denim pair of jeans that feels like leggings.
“They look good with everything, and we have them in dark wash and light wash,” she said. “They have been our best sellers for ages.”
Along with the usual big, turquoise necklaces, the boutique has stocked up on an array of fringe earrings and lots of layered necklaces in both gold and silver.
For foot gear, Christina said customers are snapping on strappy sandals and booties or half boots to keep their dancing feet happy.
“It's a short boot with a tiny bit of a heel, so they can be comfortable but cute,” she said.
This year, the twins are headed to the Coachella Music Festival with their two daughters - both nearly 3 - and their mom, after they swing through L.A. on a buying trip.
“We're going to be wearing some of our clothes,” Cristina said. “And one of our models will do some Instagram feeds.”
Closer to home, they will show off many of the new Ooh La Luxe looks at 1 p.m. May 5 at the Downtown Santa Rosa Plaza during a spring fashion show featuring 20 local models. To add to the fun, Dallas Caroline of Santa Rosa, the 17-year-old country singer phenom currently competing on TV's The Voice, will open the show with a croon or two.
Basics plus bling
Punch Clothing has been around for more than 20 years, and it specializes in luxurious fabrics and fashion basics that last forever.
“Of course we sell things for bachelorette parties and trips to Vegas,” said store owner Ru Scott. “But a lot of people come to the store for ... a good pair of jeans, a good pair of sweatpants and a sweatshirt, a good T-shirt.”
In general, she said, the styles have stayed the same for the past couple of years, but she's seeing more stripes and less florals this season. “It's definitely less Boho this year,” she said. “I would say people want more basics and essentials.”
The Punch Clothing boutiques located in Santa Rosa and Healdsburg carry a lot of distressed, vintage looking pieces, from band tees and authentic rock tees to a line of 100 percent cotton, distressed, stretchy jeans from Moussy of Japan.
Another popular essential is the slub jersey T-shirt - soft, cozy, durable and washable - that pairs well with a pair of jeans.
“Jumpsuits are really in this year - we have denim, camo and floral,” she said. “And cropped tops are in, but then so are oversized sweatshirts, so it's all over the place.”
Scott has also noticed a return of the '90s “bling thing” in jewelry.
“Those gold chains are happening, and mirrored sunglasses,” she said. “We have really cute new initial necklaces, tiny initials and super-oversized initials.”
The entrepreneur, who has no shortage of personal wardrobe choices, said as much as she would like to go to BottleRock and Country Summer Music Festival in mid-June, she'll be too busy with work.
You can reach Staff Writer Diane Peterson at 707-521-5287 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @dianepete56.