10 Fashion Trends to Look for at Coachella

4:52 PM 4/10/2019

by Ingrid Schmidt and Lindsay Weinberg

From bucket hats, biker shorts and luxe belt bags to Ariana Grande-inspired styles and Western accents.

Katy Perry, Zoe Kravitz, Emma Watson and Lily Collins at Coachella
Katy Perry, Zoe Kravitz, Emma Watson and Lily Collins at Coachella
Getty Images

The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festivals proves to be the premiere place for the unveiling of summer trends. This year, expect to see Western accents, '90s-inspired styles, python prints, biker shorts, statement pasties and plenty of bold color in the California desert. 

"Some fun trends I think we'll see this year are new hands-free bags — crossbodies, fanny packs and backpacks — lots of neon, color-blocking, florals and biker shorts," says stylist Tara Swennen, whose clients Kelli Berglund and Kristen Stewart are likely to hit the festival (although Stewart dresses herself, says Swennen).

As one of the hottest pop stars of the moment, Ariana Grande's headlining performance will no doubt inspire attendees to adopt her signature style, including oversized sweatshirts or T-shirts worn as dresses and paired with thigh-high boots (or "thigh-high socks with Dr. Martens or cool little stomping boots," says Hollywood stylist Tanya Gill). There are sure to be plenty of long ponytails.

Audacious accessories will be prominent at the Empire Polo Club this year, including backpacks with built-in sound systems. And expect to see guests making a splash in straight-from-the-runway luxe tie-dye looks and bucket hats.

In the sunglasses arena, experts predict that heavy rectangular, shield-like frames will be a hot choice among the Hollywood crowd, while Kim Kardashian says she's going golden with mirrored-lensed shades from her new collection for Carolina Lemke.

Here are 10 trends to watch for at Coachella 2019, which kicks off on Friday.

  1. 1

    Ariana Grande Inspo

    The year's hottest pop star will surely trigger trends of her own as she makes her Coachella debut. When the youngest-ever headliner takes the stage on Sunday night, expect to see lots of Ariana Grande-inspired looks in the crowd— whether that be ponytail hair extensions, thigh-high boots, "thank u, next" jewelry from brands like Rellery or official Sweetener merch

    Hairstylist Wes Sharpton of Hairstory Studio says that one big 2019 Coachella trend he is counting on will be high ponytails with extensions. "Creating a high pony is a great way to get [your hair] off of your face, but the fun is taking it to the next level by adding your favorite colored extensions to the base," says Sharpton, who has worked with Behati Prinsloo (Hawaii Five-0), Lauren Hutton (American Gigolo) and Cara Buono (Stranger Things).

    "You can swap them out daily at the festival and it’s a really simple way to add character to an otherwise boring pony — and of course it is totally fun when you flip your hair around (a Coachella must)," he tells THR.


  2. 2

    Leopard and Python Prints


    A post shared by badgalriri (@badgalriri) on

    Animal prints are never out of style, but they've had a resurgence this year in updated colors and styles — particularly leopard and python. Camila Morrone, Kathryn Gallagher and Kylie Jenner are among the young stars to revitalize the leopard pattern, which led THR to dub it "the new neutral" in December.

    The Kendall and Kylie label offers leopard-patterned bike shorts ($30), while a brand worn by Emma Roberts and Alessandra Ambrosio, called Vagabond Shoemakers, sells strappy python print sandals ($130), perfect for desert parties. Quiz Clothing, the label Olivia Sanabia wore to the Kid's Choice Awards, has a vibrant leopard-print wrap dress ($54). And this Dolce & Gabbana leopard-print canvas sun hat ($495) would look just right in Indio, as would Anine Bing's silk snake-print camisole ($169) and Acne Studios' popular mesh dad sneakers in a snake print ($540). With all the walking, comfy shoes are a must!

  3. 3

    Tie-Dye and Vintage Florals


    Back in stock! The Ella dress in tie dye print.Limited quantities available. #ontheRHODE: @paulaco_style

    A post shared by RHODE (@shoprhode) on

    Fresh fashion-forward variations of tie-dyes and vintage florals were all over spring runways — looks that easily lend themselves to the colorful, boho vibe of a Coachella festival escape. 

    L.A. brand Rhode offers easy-to-thrown on dress options in both patterns, while R13’s mix of beaded Hawaiian floral prints, leopard patterns and tie-dyes in silhouettes such as boyfriend blazers (as worn by Kaia Gerber on the catwalk), shorts and kimono dresses are ready to rock. 3.1 Phillip Lim also has sophisticated tie-dyed hoodies and T-shirts this season. And  La Vie Style House has an array of casual-chic caftan dresses in splashy florals, so all you need to add are sandals.

    Revolve, which is hosting several Weekend 1 events, stocks fun riffs on floral Hawaiian shirts and an array of tie-dyed bodysuits, tops, jumpsuits and dresses.


    Spring/Summer 2019 Collection now available on R13.COM #shopr13 #r13 #r13denim

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  4. 4

    Statement Pasties

    Courtesy of Neva Nude (2); Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

    The desert heat calls for lightweight tops, from in-vogue crochet to bodysuits or bikinis. For those daring to go more bare, expect way beyond your average nude nipple pasties to keep things PG. Santa Monica-based Neva Nude — with fans including Bella Hadid, Paris Hilton and Kendall Jenner — is setting the trend with statement hypoallergenic, latex-free and waterproof pasties.

    Choose between medical-grade stickers featuring cannabis leaves, pizza, Brexit, Captain America, seashells, unicorns, Seahawks and skulls. Actress JaKeita "Sky" Days sported jeweled pasties at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards. 

    Shay Mitchell, Katy Perry, Kylie Jenner, Hailey Baldwin, Miley Cyrus, Kaia Gerber, Winnie Harlow and Billie Eilish are among the VIPs to receive Neva Nude's Coachella box sets, including those with sequin seashells and glitter or sequined mermaids and crystals. That travel bag just got a whole lot lighter.

  5. 5

    Boombox Backpacks

    Courtesy of WizPak

    Paris Hilton is already on board with this accessory, which brings the party with you throughout the festival. MCM x Wizpak has debuted an exclusive backpack with a built-in speaker system, with fans including Miley Cyrus, Jamie Foxx, Alicia Keys, Cardi B, Future and Rita Ora. The backpacks — in tan, rose gold, pink, grey, red and black — include a 40W 2.1 stereo system, 3D surround technology, a wireless bluetooth connection and 14 hours of battery life (starting at $1,850).  

  6. 6

    Western Accents

    It's not just for Stagecoach anymore. With the rising popularity of Coachella's country counterpart, attendees of the first fest are leaning more into Western attire in the desert. Cowboy boots (such as the fun, colorful offerings from Miron Crosby) are a staple, while Southern brand AtelierSavas makes bespoke leather jackets (linings are personalized with elaborately embroidered designs, phrases or monograms) for Jack White, Chris Stapleton and Miranda Lambert.

    Or for a fresh (and more airy) new take on a Western topper, try a new oversized iteration of the fringed leather jacket or a fringed surplus shirt by R13 or a sleeveless leather shirt with Western-inspired yoked detailing by Coach, which also offers a sequined Western bootie for glam Hollywood cowgirls.

    Saint Laurent's tasseled Western-style necklace or chainmail scarf instantly upgrade a basic T-shirt, while Isabel Marant's studded belt  (or a version with a Western buckle) are the perfect finishing touch for denim cut-offs.

    The queen of country, Dolly Parton, has had a fashionable re-emergence, following her homage in Netflix's Dumplin' and the singer's subsequent Grammy recognition this year, with her costumes showcased at the Grammy Museum. L.A.-based Valfre pays tribute with their new What Would Dolly Do collection (the $76 Parton Romper and the $98 Good Luck Jumpsuit are best sellers).


    Spring/Summer 2019 Collection now available on R13.COM #shopr13 #r13 #r13denim

    A post shared by R13 (@r13denim) on

  7. 7

    Luxe Belt Bags


    ss19 women’s Off-White™ logo jacket and shorts delivered to @em___pty___gallery. photography c/o @camhicks_

    A post shared by Off-White™ (@off____white) on

    A Coachella staple to store essentials during crowded performances at the main stage, the arms-free belt bag has undergone a designer makeover in recent years. The latest version is by Pharrell Williams as part of his new Chanel Pharrell collection (out April 4) — the musician was the first man to star in a Chanel purse commercial, after all.  

    Kendall Jenner, Kourtney Kardashian and Jamie Chung are fans of Chanel's waist bags, while Kaia Gerber has opted for Alexander Wang's sleek black Attica fanny pack ($650).

    Buzzy designer Virgil Abloh's new takes include a Day-Glo yellow snake-print belt bag ($680), while Alessandro Michele fans might opt for Gucci's elongated quilted leather belt bags with chain-link straps that hit shelves this spring ($1,890).

    There are plenty of stylish, eco-friendly vegan options, too, from Nanushka's croc-effect vegan leather version with a miniature bucket bag ($370) (also in colored velvet) to Stella McCartney's spring 2019 monogram belt bag in eco canvas jacquard with faux leather trim ($795).

    And actress Shay Mitchell's bag brand Béis has launched a Festival Collection that includes a transparent fanny pack ($42)  in tan or black.

  8. 8

    Bucket Hats

    Getty Images

    The Christian Dior fall-winter 2019 collection, shown during Paris Fashion Week in late February, may be all the proof needed to demonstrate that bucket hats are back in a big way. Every model in the show wore elevated versions of the '90s-style headgear. They also showed up at Prada and in fun floral prints at Anna Sui and Etro.

    Bucket hats in vibrant colors were later showcased in Pharrell Williams' urban-inspired Chanel Pharrell collection, as models rocked red, blue and yellow terrycloth toppers emblazoned with the Chanel logo.  

    While in Indio, festival-goers need all the shade they can get, so what better time to give fall's favorite headwear a test run? 

  9. 9

    Neon and Shield Sunglasses

    Courtesy of Baxter and Bonny

    One styling expert predicts sunglasses in highlighter hues will be big this year and suggests Vera Wang eyewear in styles with colorful mirrored lenses such as the Osa ($250) or the Nyah ($250) — Gigi Hadid, Hailey Bieber, Zayn Malik and Jessica Alba wear the brand's sunnies.

    Colorful '90-inspired shades are also the festival prediction of a spokesperson for Le Specs, the line donned by Meghan Markle, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Beyonce, Kendall Jenner, and more. Exhibit A: The Heartbreaker in Hot Pants Pink ($119) with decorative cut-out hearts.  

    As for the shape, Kendall Jenner has been continually opting for tiny sunglasses, while Bieber is said to be considering a rectangular shape this year, specifically Karen Walker's Shipwrecks ($194). Kim Kardashian told THR she is feeling golden-toned sunglasses from her new collection for Carolina Lemke, such as the gold shield sunglasses in the Sahara style ($90).

  10. 10

    Biker Shorts


    happy sunday

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    As modeled by Kim Kardashian West since last summer, and long a staple in the Yeezy collections by her hubby Kanye West, biker shorts are the new must-have bottom to pack in your Coachella luggage.

    The style showed up on numerous spring fashion runways, from Fendi to Off-White to Mugler, and on trend-setters such as Hailey Bieber and Kylie Jenner. Not only are they being offered in bright colors and stylish patterns, but many other shorts are being streamlined to mimic this fitted silhouette.

    What better than bike shorts as the perfect athleisurely staple to stay comfy and look chic in the desert? And they look cute paired with everything from sports bras, corset tops, slouchy tanks and tees with a denim jacket, hoodie or boyfriend blazer tossed over the top. They can also be slipped under short skirts as a Spanx stand-in.