Festivals have a special way of bringing out creative expression where people can feel free to fully be themselves. I realized this through my travels around Central America over the past four years, developing my sustainable and eco-friendly fashion line, AVE (ah-vay). Experiences at festivals and other community art events helped to inspire the identity and direction of my brand. While typically these events have been organized by close friends, located in the jungles of Mexico or near ancient volcanos in Guatemala, I was curious to see what Hangout Music Festival in my home state of Alabama was all about!
Check out our photos and reflections of The Hangout Fest!
Hangout’s motto “Be Nice or Go Home” set the tone for a laid-back, friendly beach vibe with an extra dose of sweet Southern hospitality.
My worries drifted away as I entered the festival, with my attention focused on a new atmosphere of what seemed like a pop up village filled with tourists. My eyes were drawn to the colors and patterns around me. There was a lot of skin moving to the beat. The fashion was like the music I heard – a wide variety of styles merging into an overall carefree, fun vibe.
The first girl who caught my eye looked like she had just landed on earth from a faraway galaxy! I watched her light up as she was describing her style with words like “bohemian, cosmic, and rave.”
I found her match, who was also in galactic surfer digs. He said artists like Kanye West inspire him to keep up with fashion trends.
Then there were those who marched to the beat of their own drum, like this lovely woman. She got crafty with a “moo moo” and turned it into dress. I felt like I was in the presence of an African goddess in her gold jewelry and colorful robe.
Next, I was drawn in by these flower girls by the bright red tassels, delicate crochet and floral prints.
One of my highlights was meeting Strand of Oaks lead singer, Tim. It all started with a compliment from him on the feather headpiece I was wearing. I was delighted to find that I had made one that perfectly fit his look. It’s amazing how small heart shaped pieces of leather hand sewn with feathers and stone led to us learning that we share a passion for ancient spirituality and sacred geometry. Talking with the artists and musicians reminded me of the meaning of fashion that goes beyond how we look and what we want to follow. I started thinking about the mysterious nature of style and attraction. It’s a feeling that’s hard to define or predict. Something about the look of someone speaks to that something inside of you and a deeper connection is then created.
Speaking of attraction, the Canadian duo Bob Moses had me hooked from the first listen. They have a very special place in the world of electronic music. Not often is it that you hear poetic lyrics and guitar meshed with deep house and techno. They each have a distinct look and sound. One wears white and energetically bounces up and down while producing rhythmic melodies. The other is tall, dark and handsome…wearing all black. His lyrics expose his humanity, while leaving me with a sense of mystery.
Jesse, of Foreign Air, somehow managed to blend in perfectly with the life float backdrop. This was one of my favorite performances for its eclectic sound that made me move. It was so fun to meet with them afterwards and learn more about them. (See our interview with Foreign Air here)
Phoenix band members faded into shadowy forms absorbed by the colorful backdrop. I wasn’t really paying much attention to what people were wearing at this point. It was more about being present in that moment.
After all, fashions can be just as much about what you wear as it is a reflection of how you feel. Choosing the beat that resonates with you, now that’s GOLDEN!
Here is a short video recap I created with live footage from the festival! Enjoy!