[Selena Gomez Instagram]
Almost three hours east of LA, in its fifteenth year, the world’s most coveted outdoor music festival has begun. Coachella is back - and already it’s causing a bit of a stir.
It is, undoubtedly, a festival just as famous for its fashion as its line-ups - this year, it’s all about the 90s: crop-tops, check shirts, babydolls and the obligatory floral hairbands thrown in for good measure. For the three days that the young Hollywood elite (Lindsey Lohan once adjusted her rehab schedule to get there. Yeah) infiltrate the Indio desert it becomes a place where anything goes - including some pretty controversial trends.
No, we’re not talking about the Coachella girls’ penchant for wearing bikinis instead of real clothes, but cultural appropriation - wearing traditionally religious or sacred symbols as a fashion accessory. Celebs and ‘normals’ alike wearing offending items are facing serious abuse on Instagram and Twitter for their pics - and fuelling the debate on whether the trends are simply that - another trend - or something altogether more serious.
Here are some of the sartorial slip-ups…
1. The Bindi
As seen on Vanessa Hudgens, Sarah Hyland, Ellie Goulding, Selena Gomez (need we go on?), and being dubbed the worst offender by far. The bindi is an ancient Hindu tradition steeped in religious significance - it’s sometimes referred to as the third eye and is seen as auspiciously spiritual. It was, of course, made famously fashionable by Gwen Stefani in the '90s, which is probably why it’s at Coachella in troves this year.
2. Ditto, the Indian Nose Ring
We’re talking about Kendall Jenner, who donned a traditional Indian bridal nose ring for the festival. In India, nose rings generally signify marriage - and rings through the left nostril are seen to hold health benefits for childbirth and menstrual pain. We’re not sure Kendall had that in mind when she took that selfie, somehow…
Kendall Jenner wears a traditional Indian nose ring
3. The Indian headdress
A long term offender at festivals, and spotted again this year on Allesandra Ambrosio - Victoria’s Secret model and socialite. She uploaded a snap of her wearing the Native Indian headdress, only to be labelled ‘racist’ and disrespectful. Native Indians, who were heavily persecuted and continue to be colonialized in the US, compare it to wearing ‘blackface’, and say it offensively stereotypes Native cultures. Doesn’t look quite so cool now.
Allesandra Ambrosio and Vanessa Hudgens at Coachella [Instagram]
Next year, why don’t we stick to a pair of comedy sunnies and a bit of a wacky hat, yeah?