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3 Fashion Takeaways From Coachella

The California desert survived another Coachella. The two-weekend music and influencer extravaganza wrapped up Sunday, leaving behind lessons to learn about Gen Z and millennial fashion trends.

From a new definition of “Sunday best” and the strange turn merch shirts are taking, to the return of rave style, here’s a look at three fashion takeaways to know from Coachella 2019.

“Church merch” is a thing

Kanye West hosted “Sunday Service at the Mountain” on Easter Sunday. The traveling version of the musical service, which regularly takes place in non-descript locales in the Californian mountains, brought with it its signature cult-like monochromatic uniform of Yeezy-approved basics.

And for a mere $225, attendees could dress the part. Those looking for a dose of spirituality also got hit hard with opportunities to purchase merchandise at “Church Clothes” tents.

merch shirt
A festivalgoer wears Kanye West Sunday Service merchandise. Amy Harris/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Items included $50 socks with the words “Church Socks” and “Jesus Walks.” A tie-dye sweatshirt with the words “Holy Spirit” on the front and “Sunday Service” on the back sold for $225. A beige “Trust God” T-shirt sold for $70 and is already listed on Grailed for $300, underscoring the popularity of merch that commemorates an Instagram-bait event.

3 Fashion Takeaways From Coachella
@NigelDPresents @NigelDPresents

Critics and some Coachella goers were less enthralled. Attendees took to Twitter to express their dismay about the high price tags, while The New Yorker described the service as “full of longing and self-promotion.”

Monochromatic color rules

The fastest way to be noticed is to dress head-to-toe in neon color. Performers and festival revelers rocked brazen shades of pink, orange and yellow in the hot desert sun. Grammy-winning artist H.E.R. donned a nylon neon orange track suit. Duo Sofi Tukker wore his-and-her matching highlighter green Kappa gear. Singer Tierra Whack brought drama with a hot pink gown.

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Tierra Whack at Coachella
Tierra Whack at Coachella Amy Harris/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock

The rule worked for monochromatic white, too. In his cocaine-themed stage show, Pusha T wore an all-white ensemble by Craig Green, while Bazzi draped his all-white outfit with cobalt blue chains.

Pusha T
Pusha T performs ETIENNE LAURENT/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock

Burning Man trickles in

Burning Man isn’t until August, but the experimental metropolis and the “anything goes” attitude it wields is influencing Coachella fashion.

Festival goers at Coachella
Festival goers at Coachella Amy Harris/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock

While Coachella has always been a breeding ground for style that toes the line of costume, festival goers shed the sweet bohemian vibes of yesteryear in favor for more eccentricity and dystopian gear. Chain bodices, leather collars, harnesses and cargo pants trimmed with zippers cast an edgier and subversive shadow over the musical event. Meanwhile, mesh tops and bottoms, rainbow-color hair and fantastical makeup were revisited relics from ’90s rave culture.