Coachella Party Diary: Inside the Hottest Soirees

6:48 PM 4/16/2016

by Stephanie Chan, Sam Reed, and Sarah Gidick

Pret-a-Reporter was on the scene to bring you all the deets from this year's most exclusive events.

Suki Waterhouse Coachella GETTY - H 2016
Rachel Murray/WireImage

The Pret-a-Reporter team is in the desert this weekend, giving you the scoop on what's been going down at the poolside parties, star-studded brunches and all the flower crown-wearing moments in between.

  • Popsugar's Sunset Kick Off Party

    Friday afternoon's Popsugar Sunset Kick Off party at the Avalon Hotel was an easy breezy afternoon affair — the perfect atmosphere for gearing up for the evening's headliner, LCD Soundsystem.

    Guests included Kiernan Shipka and Scream Queens actor Diego Boneta, as well as a handful of influencers and fashion media who mingled in the various branded cabanas. Shipka, who attended the soiree with friend Lily Rosenthal, was spotted popping into the DSW cabana to peep the festival ready sandals on display. Across the way, party-goers checked out an Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt-themed cabana which was playing the brand-new second season of Netflix's hit show. 

    Fitness blogger Hannah Bronfman played DJ for the afternoon, spinning Beyonce's "Run the World (Girls)" and other nostalgic hits, before taking a break to tryout the 360-degree selfie-cam. Host Emily Ratajkowski was seen chatting it up with Bronfman before she bailed just after 5:45 p.m.

    The scene died down shortly thereafter, save for a smattering of guests posing for selfies with the pineapples that decorated the cocktail tables. Anything for the 'gram, right?


    A video posted by Hannah Bronfman (@hannahbronfman) on

  • Amazon & Suki Waterhouse's Style Code Live Soiree

    Just after six p.m. on Friday, Amazon’s Style Code Live party — hosted by Amazon Fashion ambassador Suki Waterhouse — was already drawing to a close. Though it was supposed to go on for another hour and a half, the sleepy crowd of approximately 20 guests dwindled, while stragglers sipped cocktails and chatted quietly amongst themselves at the Korakia Pensione.

    Across the street at Korakia's Retreat, which housed an Amazon lounge with the new Tap voice-enabled speaker, Waterhouse posed for photos at a portrait studio which was set up for the weekend. As she was slipping out of the hotel to catch Friday headliner LCD Soundsystem, the It-Brit told Pret-a-Reporter that her festival style was very much inspired by Kate Moss — “the ultimate” style icon. Clad in a heavy smokey eye, beachy waves and oversize white tunic, we’d say she nailed the look.

    As the crew began to pack up the scene, Kristen Stewart rolled up at The Retreat with rumored girlfriend Soko. Dressed in a black zip-up hoodie, round sunglasses and jeans, the actress didn’t draw much attention from the sparse crowd.

  • Calvin Klein's Desert Sessions Rave

    Though half the crowd that turned up at the abandoned warehouse on Friday night looked as though they’d come straight from the polo fields after LCD Soundsystem’s set (with flower crowns surprisingly still intact), make no mistake, the Calvin Klein Desert Sessions party was definitely a rave.

    If the white-neon sign reading “I rave in #mycalvins” at the rear of the room didn’t give it away, the more scantily clad guests’ revealing ensembles made it clear. That, and the sets by Alesso, Brodinski and Virgil Abloh which literally shook the bleak white walls.

    Under the dense cloud of hazy smoke, stars including Zoe Kravitz, Frieda Pinto and Hailey Baldwin were given cover from the massive crowds.

    Just past midnight, 17-year-old Amandla Stenberg arrived rocking bantu knots and a ‘90s-style Calvin Klein sports bra and briefs set, which peeked out under baggy white pants. The teen starlet was accompanied by four young female companions, all of whom stuck together as they traversed the dance floor.

    Soon after, Jaden Smith and his girlfriend, model Sarah Snyder, rolled up, half-smiling for photos on the step-and-repeat.

    Meanwhile, inside the bash, Joey Bada$$, too, was having his photo taken. A photographer, who was a member of a five-man posse that trailed the hip-hop star through the dance floor, snapped away as he explored the scene. Patrick Schwarzenegger, on the other hand, was rolling solo at the party, hiding underneath a baseball cap and hoodie as he quickly did laps around the perimeter of the warehouse.

    Even after 2 a.m., the A-listers continued to arrive en masse. Model/influencer Caroline Vreeland strolled in arm-in-arm with Baja East designers Scott Studenberg and John Targon, while model Hanne Gaby Odiele and two more models attempted to sneak unnoticed into the scene. The trio was unsuccessful however, and begrudgingly obliged when a photographer asked for a quick snap. Odiele, looking disheveled in a white hoodie, slouchy khaki pants and sneakers, nonetheless turned on the charm as she stood before the lens — a true round-the-clock professional.

    Pret-a-Reporter (sadly) left the scene before surprise guests Kanye West and Leonardo DiCaprio showed their faces a couple hours later in the wee hours of the morning.

  • Popsugar x CFDA Brunch

    The casual, buffet-style brunch, which started at 11:30 a.m., kicked off with live music by Brooklyn-based string duo Chargaux. One partygoer was overheard saying, "I'm really digging this music."

    Rogue star Ashley Greene and Scream Queens actor Diego Boneta were among the first celebs to arrive.

    After Boneta got his photo taken, the 25-year-old headed straight for the table with paleo granola and probiotic yogurt — but not before asking a friend about the strawberry sorbet champagne cocktail that was being passed around. Meanwhile Brother Vellies designer Aurora James was spotted holding a small plate of waffles covered with blueberries and strawberries.

    Not long after the invite-only luncheon started getting packed, Emma Roberts (clad in a gingham dress by Jonathan Simkhai) arrived with her stylist, Brit Elkin, and waited in the buffet line to grab a bite, scooping up a small serving of sauteed potatoes. She didn't spend much time eating, though, because she was later seen greeting co-star Boneta by the cabanas without any food in hand.

    Guests included models Olivia Culpo and Devon Windsor, who both shared a big hug after spotting each other during the event. Windsor, who scanned the scene with her phone, also took a selfie with Culpo and Victoria’s Secret Pink Rachel Hilbert on Snapchat.

    Though the models may have stayed away from the buffet section, other guests clearly didn't as the breakfast sandwiches and avocado toasts were all gone by the time we found a moment to grab a bite. Luckily, there were some waffles left.


  • Rebecca Minkoff x Smashbox Lunch

    Day two of the Coachella festival brought with it an intense, make-up melting midday heat, but luckily, at Rebecca Minkoff and the Smashbox team’s private lunch on the fringes of Palm Springs, guests were offered makeup touch-ups and ice-cold rosé.

    The lush backyard oasis at Villa Carmelita (the former estate of Sonny and Cher, with the fitting wifi password "igotyoubabe") hosted the 30 or so guests, which included plenty of fashion media, bloggers and VIP guests, including former Disney actress Peyton List, DJ Mia Moretti and Whitney Port, who coincidentally arrived wearing the same cold-shoulder powder blue Rebecca Minkoff frock as the designer herself. "Not on purpose, we swear," wrote Minkoff on Instagram.

    When asked which of the typical festival trends were the most popular for her particular customer base, Minkoff didn't hesitate to answer. "Fringe, tassels and color," she told Pret-a-Reporter, adding that Dree Hemingway and "young Kate Moss at Glastonbury" served as inspiration for the festival-ready pieces in her spring see-now, buy-now collection.

    In addition to the Smashbox makeup stations — one of which allowed guests to mix a custom lip color — party-goers were encouraged to customize Rebecca Minkoff leather jackets and cross body pouches. Artist Brian Kaspr (@bkaspr) was kept busy hand-painting names, sayings and Instagram handles in bold, bright script. List, who wore a suede fringe black jacket and band tee to the event, opted for a moto style jacket customized with her last name.

    Rather than flower crowns, attendees were encouraged to pickup a bright pompom crown, crafted with tassels and yarn. We'd like to argue that Johnny Wujek, who spun the light pop tunes for the event (think Christina Aguilera's "Genie in a Bottle"), wore it best.


    A photo posted by Pret-a-Reporter (@pretareporter) on

    Around 1 p.m., guests were served a three-course lunch catered by Haute Chefs with options including a kale caesar salad and herb roasted jidori chicken, served with crisp white wine or sparkling water.

    On their way out of the party, both Port and List posed alongside a Cadillac parked out front which was hand-painted by artist Donald Robertson (@drawbertson). The heat unfortunately turned the red leather interior scorching hot — as List noted in her Instagram caption, “pretending this seat isn't burning my butt cheeks...” 


    pretending this seat isn't burning my butt cheeks...

    A photo posted by peypeylist (@peytonlist) on

  • Jeremy Scott's Coachella Party

    Just when you thought Jeremy Scott couldn't top last year's epic rager, the designer upped the ante — this time with a lagoon that was surrounded with palm trees and flashing strobe lights throughout the night. "Holy shit," said one partygoer as soon as she walked into the venue.

    Though the invite said the party started at 10 p.m., the soiree didn't actually get going until the man of the hour, Jeremy Scott, arrived an hour later with the Misshapes (Leigh Lezark and Geordon Nicol) in tow.

    As we waited near the entrance, almost every guest stopped to take photos in front of the neon sign bearing Jeremy Scott's name against a retro backdrop that was inspired by the designer's Cowboys & Poodles collection and the forthcoming opening of W Las Vegas.

    At about midnight, Kristen Stewart kept a low profile and quietly rolled up to the scene with a small group of friends.

    The Misshapes kept the night alive, spinning some of today's biggest hits including Drake's "One Dance," Justin Bieber's "Sorry" and Selena Gomez's "Hands to Myself,"

    It wasn't until roughly an hour later that the next major A-lister showed up. Arriving in an all-black Mercedes-Benz van, Sam Smith attended the late-night bash with his huge crew in tow.


    A photo posted by Jeremy Scott (@itsjeremyscott) on

    Katy Perry, clad in an electric blue guitar-print frock from Scott's fall 2016 collection, arrived shortly thereafter, holding hands with Orlando Bloom, who hid his face in a black cap and kept his head low. Perry, who was also accompanied by a group of her closest pals including DJ Mia Moretti and violinist Margot of The Dolls, headed straight to the VIP section that was situated near the DJ booth on a private deck.

    Right behind Perry was A$AP Rocky. Instead of dashing in the same direction as Perry, the rapper hung out near the entrance with friends, taking in the desert oasis and bopping his head when Yo Gotti's "Down in the DM" started playing.

    Halsey, Frances Bean Cobain and Janelle Monae were among the latecomers hitting up the place at around 2 a.m.

    However, it looked like the party was just getting started then because when the Pret-a-Reporter team left at around 3 a.m., there was still a long line waiting to get into the invite-only extravaganza and a number of party vans rolling into the driveway — quite possibly carrying the likes of Kylie Jenner, Tyga, Jared Leto, Amandla Stenberg, Hailey Baldwin and Andreja Pejic, who were all said to have shown up for the high-profile annual event.


    A photo posted by Jeremy Scott (@itsjeremyscott) on

  • Revolve Clothing's Desert House Party

    If there’s any daytime bash to compete with the Coachella’s evening ragers (think Calvin Klein’s Desert Rave or Levi’s Neon Carnival), it’s Revolve Clothing’s Desert House Party.

    Hosted at a massive mansion a short drive from of festival grounds, the swanky soiree drew a younger set of A-listers including ASAP Rocky, Travis Scott, Bella Thorne and Kendall and Kylie Jenner.

    Though the surrounding grounds are a sandy scene, the gates of the house opened to a lush landscape including a shady lawn and small lagoon complete with a dingy boat for joyrides. But while most guests were lounging on the grassy hill leading up to the palatial digs, the celebrity space could be found tucked away under shady cabanas draped in breezy white sheets on the upper patio.

    But first, the VIP guests were shuttled to the rear of the house, where a mini shop was set up with a small offering of festival-ready garb from Revolve Clothing’s in-house labels as well as a handful of accessories, including Joico Instatint and Ale by Alessandra Ambrosio flash tattoos.

    Pret-a-Reporter pulled up just past 3 p.m., where we spied Ambrosio herself — clad in a dark pink kimono, purple bikini top and round sunnies — gushing excitedly about the product. Actress Jamie Chung, who attended the fest for the ninth straight year, was on the scene too, outfitted in a laser cut white Zimmermann frock. When asked to share her festival secret weapons, the Coachella vet revealed she keeps hot sauce in her bag. Yep.

    ASAP Ferg pulled up next, sporting jeans and a white tee. The rapper had no problem hamming it up for the cameras before making his way to the cabanas.

    Former Disney actress Peyton List was also spotted scoping out the merchandise, having just made her way from the Rebecca Minkoff x Smashbox luncheon. The actress did a quick change in the car on the way over, swapping her fringed jacket for a pale yellow romper and jewel face stickers under her eyes. Before heading off to see Guns ‘n’ Roses perform, the actress noted to Pret-a-Reporter she still had one final outfit change — giving Blake Lively’s outfit change record some stiff competition.  

    Poolside at the cabanas meanwhile, ASAP Rocky caught up with Zoe Kravitz, each enjoying a popsicle as a reprieve from the blazing sun. Kendall Jenner was also spotted posing for photos with model/Kylie Jenner bestie Jordyn Woods, who played DJ for bit.

    Just before sunset, Travis Scott treated the crowd to a performance. With a set up this good, we wonder, do you even need to go to the festival at all? 


    A video posted by REVOLVE (@revolve) on

  • Levi's Neon Carnival With Tequila Don Julio

    The crowd at the annual Neon Carnival was definitely feeling the love on Saturday evening, and it wasn’t just the, uh, drugs.

    "Throw a peace sign in the air for Michael," the DJ yelled to the thumping crowd as he played Michael Jackson’s "Man in the Mirror" just past 1 a.m. Despite the slower pace of the song, it didn’t appear that anyone minded — rather, the mass of suntanned bodies sang along with passion.

    Remixed versions of Sublime’s “Santeria,” Eminem’s “Lose Yourself,” and even The Champs’ “Tequila” set the easy tone for a party atmosphere that was a bit more laid back than Calvin Klein’s desert rave the night before. But that’s not to say there wasn’t still plenty happening.

    Surrounding the stage were classic carnival rides, from a Tinder-sponsored “Tilt-a-Whirl” to a brightly lit Ferris wheel and a massive pastel-hued slide sponsored by Don Julio Tequila. And let’s not forget the fair ground favorite — the bumper cars — which Aaron Paul, his wife Lauren and a crew friends were spied crashing just before 2.a.m.

    Civilians and a handful of quasi-celebrities (such as Tom Sandoval of Bravo reality show Vanderpump Rules and 16-year-old Brooklyn Beckham) milled about unnoticed, taking in the scene under the flashing neon lights and being careful not to step on the hundreds free Chapsticks and crushed water bottles which littered the ground.

    The A-listers, however, were a bit more conscious about keeping a low profile. Rihanna and Leonardo DiCaprio, both outfitted in oversize sunglasses, were escorted through a back entrance and seated at private tables next to one another, where they struck up conversation.

    More stars, including Courtney Love, Danny Masterson, Jared Leto and Josh Hutcherson also opted for tables in the VIP section, which gave them a sweeping view of the dancing crowd.

    Freida Pinto, on the other hand, went for the camouflage route, rolling with a posse of four all in matching denim jackets customized at the Levi’s tent with “Coachella 2016” embroidered on the shoulder.