We take a look at the fashion trends at this year's Austin Psych Fest. This year, color pops and Y2K took over the festival as attendees served in bright bold fits.
It’s been a week since Austin Psych Fest occurred at The Far Out Lounge in Austin, Texas. Showcasing psychedelic acts such as Melody’s Echo Chamber, Yves Tumor, Crumb, and Cuco, Austin Psych Fest celebrated its 15th year anniversary, and returned from its hiatus, to celebrate psychedelic music, its history, and impact.
Even though this year’s fest started with a downpour, the rain did not stop people from serving some looks. While walking around the fest, I kept an eye out for people who stood out among the crowd. In a sea of clothes that you would expect a psych enthusiast to wear and casual shirt-and-shorts combos, the two prevalent fashion choices that stood out this year were an embrace of color and Y2K influence. If you weren’t aware, color has been slowly disappearing from our surroundings through conscious choices in design and architecture, so seeing bold, colorful clothes being worn brought me unexpected joy. I’ll save you my diatribe against minimalism today, but you get the idea – you're welcome.
During the first day of the fest, I caught many people in bright summery outfits, myself included. After the rain stopped, Austin's temperature quickly dropped, and I, the cold-running baby that I am, had to walk back to my car for a jacket after being unable to stop shivering during Toro y Moi’s set. Brownie points for the people who withstood the cold in that first day – you’re stronger than me.
Now without further ado, let’s take a look back and see what people were wearing at this year’s Austin Psych Fest. All outfits were shot on Instax film by yours truly.
Y2k's Influence Permeated Throughout the Crowd
There were a lot of attendees wearing outfits that felt inspired by the ‘90s and ‘00s. At this year’s Austin Psych Fest, it was evident that Gen Z continues to embrace Y2K fashion and adding their own modern twists. Some of these outfits felt like something you’d see walk down the MTV Movie Awards red carpet in 2006, or perhaps worn by the edgier person in a teen comedy from 1998. I really appreciated the guy wearing a sick Enya shirt. I think we should all be wearing more Enya shirts, to be honest. Any band tee type of shirt with a '90s singer-songwriter on it is one of my favorite types of shirts. Put PJ Harvey and Fiona Apple on a vintage-style band tee. Get an oversized Tori Amos shirt. It's an easy way to get cute points.
Another favorite look was the trio of friends who were giving me some Mexico City mixed with Los Angeles in the 2000s fashion vibes. I also enjoyed the duo of friends who donned a minimalist taupe Matrix ensemble that were serving us minimalist futurism with a matching pair of shades and ‘90s hairstyles. Overall, I am excited to see what people bring next year – perhaps we will get more people leaning more into the futuristic side of Y2K. Give me translucent vinyl and laser-cut acrylic accessories. Pair it with a campy bag. I think Barbarella meets psilocybin is a good place to lean into in the next wave of Y2K fashion, just saying.
Colorful Psychedelic Fashion at Austin Psych Fest
To nobody’s surprise, color was everywhere at a psychedelic festival. Some of the weekend’s best psychedelic fashion came from people showcasing bold embraces of color. In recent years, color has come into vogue, with much of today’s biggest trends blending psychedelic inspirations from the ‘60s and ‘70s with technological aspirations from the ‘90s and ‘00s. But wearing color, in my opinion, should be meaningful. Colors should complement each other, and don’t get me started on choosing correct shades. Remember to match the right shades of color! Just wearing a colorful pattern is not enough. There should be a cognizant choice when accessorizing and creating a logical look. After years of minimalism and off-white matching outfits from Zara, color is finally making a comeback and people are adding their own twist, with Y2K influence clearly percolating in this space. My dream for a maximalist society is slowly coming true – Down With Minimalism!
The clear Outfit of the Festival is the girl who donned a complete pantone red look. Red hair, red eyeshadow, a red lip, all topped with a red lace dress. As I was walking to check out the last half of Bratty’s set, I caught her from the corner of my eye. She stood out amongst the crowd right as a sun set that put a spotlight on her during golden hour. Just a warm, radiant outfit that made me stop in my tracks and whisper, “yes, girl, slay.” Her slicked down red pigtails also win Hair of the Festival, let’s be real.
I also really liked a guy who wore a casual, yet fashionable pink-and-brown ensemble tied together with a blonde and pink buzzed hairstyle. I think a light coat could have elevated this another notch, but it’s ok, he won’t get chopped for it in this episode.
Color brings a certain lightness and playfulness to fashion that severely lacks at festivals and everyday life that it honestly makes me excited when I see it in person. The return of color is the future of fashion right now, so get ahead of the curve and start wearing bold hues and remember – match your shades and remember your color theory!
Call to Action: Serve More Lewks at Festivals
Even with these great finds, I think the Serve Ratio™️ at the fest was a bit lackluster, so I am going to make a call to action. I understand there is the need to be comfortably at an outdoor fest, but I think there should be at least 5-10 outfits per festival day that make you go “yessssss.” And for a psychedelic-inclined fest, there was a lot of opportunity to do something fun with psychedelic inspiration and colors that I was left a little disappointed I didn't see more of. This is my call to action for next year's festival: play into the psychedelic theme and have fun dressing up. Let's bring a mix of camp and psych chic realness to the forefront next year. This is why I Golden Hour Red Girl was the winner of the prestigious Outfit of the Festival award. She knew the assignment. Thanks, queen. In the end, fashion is fun and a great way to stand out at a crowded place like a festival. If you aren't fashion-inclined, take some inspiration from this year's picks and mix and match some of their looks!