Photo showcase: Maha Music Festival
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For her first ever Maha Music Festival, Deo De Silva wore an orange chiffon dress over a pink long-sleeved shirt over black tights, with metallic Doc Martens and string of tiny pink and lavender skulls on a thin gold chain.
There was a lot going on with her outfit, but it was an outfit that had a lot to do.
De Silva, 24, of Sydney, Australia, wanted to be comfortable, hence the flat shoes and flowing dress. She wanted to keep cool during the day and to be warm in the evening, hence the layers.
And she wanted to stand out, too. So she wore bright colors and her Vivienne Westwood skull necklace, which she bought on a trip to London.
As long as there have been music festivals, there has been festival fashion. Think of the flowing dresses, beads and bandanas that characterized Woodstock.
But in recent years, trends have increasingly sprung out of music festivals, as fashion blogs chronicled the feathers, fringe, tribal prints, headbands and other looks worn at music festivals across the globe. Women's magazines have devoted space in print and online to showing readers how to recreate the Bohemian looks celebrities and fashion-forward fans sport at huge festivals like Glastonbury and Coachella.
And the fashionably minded have taken notice.
“I think it's awesome that (festival fashion) is so accessible now,” said Cecily Sweet, who wore cutoff jean shorts, black boots, a black top and loads of necklaces on Saturday.
Sweet said she was going for a look that had a rock element to it, but was laid back, too. And she said she looked to the clothing company Free People's blog, which often features street fashion from music festivals, for inspiration.
Festival fashion is expected to be a little bit daring, said Sweet, 23, which is part of the fun.
“It's like a costume,” said her friend 21-year-old Rebecca Noddle, who wore a tie-dyed tank top, skinny jeans, sandals and tons of mismatched necklaces and bracelets.
Sweet's sister, Mary Clare Sweet, 29, had also put thought into her outfit — a sheer purple top, black shorts, clogs and a portion of her huge collection of beaded bracelets.
“I was semi-preparing for comfort,” she said, “but I also hate to look like anyone else.”
Omaha stylist Meghann Schense said it made sense that people made an extra effort to express their style at music festivals — music, after all, is an expression of personality, too.
“They do go hand-in-hand,” she said.
Even so, there were plenty of common themes at Maha — heart-shaped sunglasses, high-waisted shorts, exposed midriffs, sheer skirts and tops, beads and feathers.
Lil' Scoutie, the mobile version of Dundee vintage and second-hand clothing store Scout, had set up shop near the entrance of Maha, and general manager Caitlin Little said business had been brisk.
They had sold sunglasses, some emergency outfit changes and a few things that festivalgoers had seen, loved and changed into on the spot.
Lil' Scoutie's spot also put Little in a great spot for people watching, and she said she had seen great outfits; one of her co-workers even took photographs of some of her favorites.
Little wasn't surprised. In Omaha, music and fashion are always closely intertwined.
“I think going to shows in general is kind of like a fashion showcase,” she said.
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