Dress to shock your grandmother: Inside Look at Burning Man’s 2017 Fashion
August ended, and along with hurricane season, Burning Man arrived giving burners, ravers and other aliens around the world a reason to travel to the Nevada desert. Black Rock City is the place where the festival takes place every year. The event attracts free spirited souls who aim to live a unique experience by dancing the days away. For the organizers, festival goers represent, not just an audience, but also active participants. For this reason, the fest is organized in a way that attendees contribute as much as possible to their own entertainment. They do this by suggesting themes which results on outrageous costumes, crazy artworks and different social activities. Burning Man’s style assertion has become very famous in pop culture.
The desert gear, scenic views and warm lighting contribute to the creation of overwhelming fashion statements. Attendees, male and females, take this opportunity to embrace the burner culture and follow their radical self expression belief. The desert is the main force responsible for style trends. Extreme temperatures changes, from flaming heat during the day to icy breeze during the night, requires attendees to wear versatile clothing. At daytime, burners opted to wear as less as possible. Women chose leotards, swimwear and underwear as their base layer. Maillots and two pieces were among favorites. Most male burners opted for a shirtless look, combined with underpants or shorts. During colder hours, attendees layered their lightweight attires with long cover ups or furry coats. Stockings and leg warmers also added to the burner’s look, as well as provided extra protection against the cooler conditions.
Neutrals and Metallics dominated the color scheme at this year’s festival. Black and white were among the most worn. Used as a base hue, burners created looks that followed an unicolor vibe. All black and all white outfits were among favorite for this trend. On the other hand, gold was the leading metallic color worn by festival goers. Used as a main hue for entire outfits and complimentary for accessories, the color helped burners achieve a futuristic look. Sparkling catsuits and gaudy two-pieces dictated this vogue. Gun metal followed gold as the second favorite metallic color, seen mostly as a complimentary hue for accessories. Such accessories included jewelry and other trimmings.
Burners opted to add loads of such trims in order to create a unique look. Layers of metallic jewelry was seen in many of the attendees. Chainlink necklaces with contrasting body-chains were some of the favorite. Nomad style belts and masks with hanging silver coins were visible among burners who encompassed a bohemian style. The use of beaded pendants and bracelets were favored by the crowd, seen in in both male and female burners. Such accessories included rainbow colored necklaces and multicolored bracelets. The key to this jewelry trend was layering. Burners added every piece of jewelry available in order to recreate a gypsy look. Additionally, headpieces represented another favorite style component.
Feathered headwear dominated the trend. Attendees enjoyed wearing native inspired pieces that showcased a colorful mix of feathers. These were used either as headband, worn tightly around the head, or as trimming, in hats or crowns. Turban-like head wraps followed this trend. Both men and women embraced this by wrapping scarves around their heads, creating different shapes and patterns. Burners who used this accessory enjoyed the perk of shielding their head against the hardcore desert sun, while recreating a cool Arabian look. On the other hand, funky high-top hats were a favorite among male burners, mostly used in dark hues. The wearers opted to contrast this inky color with bright accessories in order to blend in with the vibrant crowd. Military hats also topped the trend, used by both men and women.
Since dust storms are common in the desert, and sand in the mouth is not agreeable, most burners covered their faces by using dust masks, scarves or bandanas. Everyone who has been in the desert understands the importance of protecting themselves against such condition. Thus, this fashion must-have turned into a basic accessory for every burner. No outfit was complete without one. Even plain surgical masks were seen among festival goers. These were often dyed in dark colors that blended in with the raver’s overall look. Nevertheless, in most instances attendees unchained their creativity by wearing masks that were customized with sequins, spikes and painted designs. Others took it one step further by wearing gas masks. Without a doubt, this represented the top accessory among burners in 2017.
As far as eyewear, goggles were a best-loved item. These not only offered a rad look, but also protection against the previously mentioned dust storms. Burners wore regular sports goggles
to complete their attire. Most consisted on ski goggles with a flash lens finish. Others were victorian style, with matte or metallic finishes. As with other accessories, some ravers took the opportunity to customize their own by adding spikes and rhinestones to create a funkier look. Moreover, mirrored sunglasses were also favored by the crowd. Both men and women seemed to enjoy this vogue, wearing flashy colors that varied from orange and green, to yellow and blue.
Footwear was a limited statement piece. Attendees chose to wear closed shoes which protected them from the weather conditions. These included laced sneakers and combat boots. The sneakers consisted on classic rubber-soled shoes with toe guard and lace closure (similar to the classic All Star sneaker). Combat boots were the most used footwear type, visible in a variety of styles. Mid calf and below the knee boots with lace or snap closure were predominant among burners. Chunky, high platformed shoes gave the wearer a tough, dominatrix vibe, while fitted flat ones provided a military look.
In general, festival goers followed the theme of “Radical Ritual” which aimed to release the spirit of the Black Rock desert. Indeed, attendees released their inner burner spirit in order to fully enjoy this one-in-a-lifetime experience. The festival enhanced a self-reliant culture which provided ravers with the right to wear styles of clothes that, in most instances, could not be worn in their everyday lives. It is fair to say that the commandment of “radical self-expression” was fully abided by burners who attended this Burning Man 2017 edition.
By: Pily Montiel