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Devin goes to Coachella



Let me make this clear.  I do not shop.  I order my groceries (Fresh Direct), laundry, my dinners (Seamless), my juices, my Ubers, my last minute gifts, beauty trials (Birchbox), glam squad (Priv) and if I had a dog, I would order a dog walker (like many of my friends).  I am not important enough to use the excuse of just not having enough time to shop, so I justify my bad behavior on just being a creature of my generation and tell myself that I am simply the quintessential Millennial who likes convenience a little too much.  Now that you know a little bit about me, you can understand that I left my Coachella shopping to the very last minute, 24 hours before my flight to be exact, and I have a full time job. I was left with a shopping window of three hours, between 6:30-9:30pm, to purchase three complete looks from head to toe.  A girl needs to be prepared so I took a cue from Erica Jayne-Girardi and made myself a lookbook prior to even embarking on the shopping journey.

5 Step Strategic Plan

Shopping for this trip was going to be a big deal for me considering my entire closet is 99% New York Black and I had nothing bright, floral, whimsical or remotely west coast. I was a blank canvas, starting from scratch. Since I knew the shopping experience was going to be three hours long and extra competitive, as I was battling the rest of the Coachella-bound, vitamin D deficient, New Yorkers tearing through the festival remnants at the last minute, I decided to be smart and treat my shopping excursion like I treat my job by developing a strategic plan.  Below is my five step action plan for when the busy Millennial girl, with a full time job, needs to purchase three head-to-toe looks in under three hours.

Step 1:  Research

I took my lunch break to do some research: aka i Googled “best dressed Coachella 2015”, duh.

Step 2: Develop Themes

I synthesized the popular trends to come up with my three separate looks: floral hippie nouveau, lady Aztec rock, and bohemian white-on-white.  

Step 3: Create Lookbook

After I knew the aesthetics I needed to accomplish, I then researched “festival fashion” and started browsing brands, retailers, and editors curated selections from where I pulled images & pricing to add to my lookbook. I didn’t have the luxury of browsing through everything, everyone had to offer.  Since I was limited on time, I had to go straight to the best options, so I only pulled from the curation’s of fashion influencers that I trust. 

Step 4: Plot Map

Considering my three hour time limit, I chose stores that I knew were next to each other and on my way home from work: Zara, H&M, TopShop, Sephora, Mango, Victoria Secret etc. Hello & thank you, Herald Square!  I also have to admit that I sent someone else to Bloomingdales since it was uptown.  I didn’t really have a choice; I needed to double up on duty.

Step 5: Call In advance

I identified some of the key items that I absolutely needed, like my floral crown and Aztec skirt, and called as I was walking towards the stores after work to make sure they had them in stock prior to wasting time there. This made it easy for me to walk in, point to the picture in my lookbook, and get a head start waiting on line while they bring the item to you.  Yes, Zara had a hour long checkout wait, ugh.

Pro Tip:  I changed into workout clothes and sneakers before I left the office to go shopping so I could be quick, comfortable and agile as I battled the masses.  The only thing I would have done differently is I would have worn a cute backpack instead of my big tote bag because by the end of the night my shoulder was killing me.

Day 1:  Floral Hippie Nouveau

This was my first festival and I wanted to get the token ‘flowers in my hair’ look out of my system.  My day 1 look was really my opportunity to just go for it and fully commit. Show Me Your Mumu is a contemporary brand that largely took off due to the success of Millennial festival culture.  So I knew they would be a good starting point.  The difficult thing was that I didn’t have enough time to order online so I ended up having to physically go to Bloomingdale’s to find my peach floral, bell sleeved dress.  I paired it with a flower crown, circle sunglasses, long silver feather necklaces and nude fringe sandals and matching crossbody bag.

Day 2:  Lady Aztec Rock

There were several looks that I adored from Nasty Gal when I was doing my research, however the problem is that I didn’t have enough time to have them shipped; even with expedited shipping. I really thought about going for a ripped denim with western belt look, but after I saw the floral print skirt from Zara, I decided to change my direction because it matched my vintage Appetite for Destruction Guns n Roses concert t-shirt perfectly.  And since I was already dedicating my day 2 look at Coachella to Guns n Roses, whatever I chose needed to revolve around the shirt. Basically, if you know me, you know that the world revolves around that shirt.  It is my most prized possession.  I paired my concert tee and skirt with a black wide brim fedora, black suede gladiator sandals, classic Wayfarer Rayban’s, stacked silver bangles, and a black fringe mini backpack.

Day 3: Bohemian White-on-White

I’m not going to lie, by day three I was exhausted and I was so glad I saved my white, linen, high-low bohemian dress for Sunday.  It was so comfortable and flowy.  I paired the dress with flat white canvas Keds and turquoise jewelry.  I had a gorgeous white turban to go with this look but I was honestly so exhausted, I didn’t feel like doing my hair.  I guess, I’ll save that look for next year.  

Dressing for Coachella was a definite departure from my daily urban east coast life but I have to say that it was incredibly liberating and fulfilling to fully commit to the look and feel of festival life.  I loved being an active participant along with the other 150,000 music, fashion, art, and sun loving babies, and couldn’t have imagined it otherwise.  The kindness and energy that radiates from that valley in the desert during those two weekends a year is something I truly hope everyone gets to experience at least once in their lifetime.


Devin VanderMaas

Marketing Director, Faviana

IG: @DevinVanderMaas

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