This weekend brought the Eaux Claires Music Festival to Eau Claire, Wisconsin — a two-day event founded by Eau Claire’s own Justin Vernon of Bon Iver.
From Paul Simon to Danny Brown, the festival featured an eclectic lineup of acts. Attendees were just as freewheeling in the artistry of their outfits.
In general, the overt cultural appropriation present at larger festivals (think Coachella, Native American headdresses, bindis, etc.) hasn’t worked its way up to central Wisconsin (yet).
Some patrons sported outfits hearkening back to Woodstock, while others took the opportunity for sly, postmodern ponderings of what it actually means to dress up for a festival.
Here are some of the weekend’s best dressed:
Kiki Annis, 20
Student at University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire
What she wore: Thrift store bell-bottom pants, hand-me-down shirt.
No, Annis is not fresh out of Austin Powers’ time machine, as randy as that would be. She’s simply a Spanish major with a penchant for thrifting.
The bell bottoms were as functional as they were stylish. With the weather oscillating between intense sun and torrential downpour, they were breezy enough to handle the heat while having enough fabric to ward off the cold rain.
As for the pattern … what needs to be said? The kaleidoscopic yet organic print screams, “Yeah, I’m a hippy, but don’t put labels on me, man.”
Milton Cummings, 21
Student at University of Wisconsin - La Crosse
What he wore: Urban Outfitters overalls, Air Jordan Retro 13 sneakers, Ray-Ban sunglasses.
Cummings was not part of the landscaping crew, but that didn’t stop him from capturing true authenticity in his look. His workman’s overalls were made by Urban Outfitters, a blue-collar clothing manufacturer responsible for outfitting America’s working class.
Throwing on a pair of retro Jordan’s, Cummings wordlessly let people know that, yes, he gets his hands dirty while in his overalls, but he’s also able to speak intelligently about the hip-hop canon. Cummings is nothing if not a modern Renaissance man.
Emily Eisenhart, 25
Senior Consultant at Grant Thornton LLP
What she wore: Valley Village velvet top and earrings, Urban Outfitters jorts, ankle boots from Topshop and Madewell shades.
Going for a “seventies themed birthday party” look, Eisenhart looked cool as a cucumber on Friday.
Who would’ve known that a Stevie Nicks vibe would pair so well with a bit of native Seattle grunge? Eisenhart, obviously.
But why the velvet? Other than the aesthetic, she said she’s had “special memories” with the fabric. We didn’t want to inquire any further.
After posing with her plastic cup of Rosé, Eisenhart reflected on the outfit choice. “Yeah, it’s hot,” she said.
And while she was referring to the weather, her friends in the background — essentially stage moms — thought she meant the style itself.
Jordan Parshall, 20
Student at Augsburg College
What he wore: A turquoise Himalayan shawl from Ragstock, H&M booty shorts, a Buffalo Exchange statement necklace and old flip flops.
Going for a “nature queer” look, Parshall brought the look of Minneapolis’ Uptown to Wisconsin. Just one of his different fashion incarnations, he exuded a level of confidence that just said, “I know I look good.”
A “yogi,” Parshall was inspired to enjoy the festival with his shawl. It turned out to be perfect for allowing the breeze to flow on that quite warm day.
Why the two-year-old flip flops? He’s normally barefoot, so he said this was the next best choice to rough the terrain of the festival grounds.