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Lily Kwong’s Guide to Festival Dressing

Please note: there’s nary a fringe bra or flower crown in sight.

As any regular festivalgoer will tell you, the most commonly broken fest-fashion rule is the assumption that there are no rules. Are we the only ones who are totally over the barely-there outfits and ridiculous headgear? We’re huge proponents of dressing more for what you actually plan on doing that day and less for the Instagrams you will inevitably be taking while doing it (revolutionary, right?).

Will you be on your feet dancing for hours on end? ‘Stocks and sandals are your friends. Will you be posted up in the beer tent for a good chunk of the afternoon? Maybe opt out of the itty-bitty bralette top so as to not pull a Janet Jackson. Are you the type who eschews the Port-A-Potty lineup and beelines it for the bushes instead? Just say no to rompers and shorteralls (take it from us—nothing is less sneaky than having to remove your entire outfit to pee).

There’s a way to do festival style right, and we zeroed in on Lily Kwong, the low-maintenance model with a megawatt smile (and cousin of Joseph Altuzarra), for her effortlessly appropriate ensembles (notably absent of fringe bras and flower crowns). We caught up with the self-professed tomboy back at Coachella to soak up her tips and tricks for the tail end of the summer festival circuit (Lollapalooza, anyone? Osheaga, for our fellow northerners?). Think flower-child maxis, shocks of glow stick-neons, paper-thin knits and quirky kimonos.

 —Chelsey Burnside

On her five absolute festival necessities… 

“Vitamins (5HTP and B12 for quick recovery and energy)

Water bottle (try S'well)

Your shoes 100% get dirty, so sneakers you don't mind destroying (Nikes, Converse, Keds).

A Mophie, so that you can actually find your friends

Killer sunglasses

On all you really need for “festival showers”…

Neem oil (Dr. Hauschka) or coconut oil for your hair is the secret to everything.”

On how not to go overboard with the whole hippie theme… 

“Pace yourself. You don't need fringe and ironic body paint and a crochet top and cowboy boots all in one outfit. I recommend just picking one thing—like a Zara fringe bag (or Prada if you're going for it) and building from there. Baby steps. Not to be a cheeseball, but I think you should dress up for yourself! Seriously though: really getting lost in a set at a great festival is better than any selfie [or street style shot] you're ever going to take.”

On her go-to designers… 

“Céline fur heels won't cut it, but Céline sunglasses definitely will. Rag & Bone shredded boyfriend shorts, Free People for crocheted and peasant anything, Arme de l'Amour layered jewelry, Reformation sexy slip dresses—nothing you're too worried about getting dirty in!

On her own festival highlights…

“Burning Man is insane in general: witnessing Robot Heart's mobile dance party flying across the dusty playa at sunrise surrounded by flames and neon lights was one of my more memorable festival moments. Queen B dancing backup for Solange this year at Coachella was pretty damn good, too.”

On her fantasy festival set, beauty product and look… 

“Dev Hynes was staying at the StyleBop villa I called home during this Coachella and I was so impressed—I'm going to have to say Blood Orange at the moment for my one band. As for the rest: Neutrogena UltraSheer Dry-Touch Sunblock (SPF 80) and an Amour Vert jumpsuit.”

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