cracking the concertcore fashion code


A guide to help you decide what to wear to the next big concert in your city

Kolkata’s Ankita Gupta knew exactly what she was going to wear to the Backstreet Boys’ (BSB) concert in Mumbai on May 4: all black, in contrast to the famous all-white outfits for the band members.

“I thought of doing my own version in an opposite way. My style is impulsive, yet offbeat. Sometimes I go full goth, sometimes I just wear pink,” says the 24-year-old Says the designer. “I decide my outfit half an hour before I go, though I create outfit boards on my Pinterest and try to follow it.” So with her Pinterest board and mood in mind, she created a The mesh top was paired with a midi black skirt and a see-through belt. “I cropped the black shirt on its own, leaving it with a fringe for an edgy look. To help me see the band from afar I finished off the look with a pair of black heels. Later, while dancing, my shoes broke and I was walking around in my pink socks,” she says.

For many people, getting ready for a concert is as important as finding a good place to sit or stand and a good angle to photograph the performers on stage. Of course, there are people who would prefer to wear weather-friendly, comfortable clothes and accessories like cotton summer dresses, shorts and tees for the hot and humid Mumbai.

Read also: Inside the making of the H&M x Mugler collection

Enthusiastic concertcore like Gupta likes to take fashion to a fun, experimental level, as seen at Nagaland’s Ziro Festival of Music last year, Mumbai’s Lollapalooza in January and Backstreet Boys concerts in both Maximum City and Delhi. With that in mind, we asked stylists and concert-goers about their preferences for concert fashion, given that crowd-pullers like Sonu Nigam and Sunidhi Chauhan are performing after a long time And festivals like Bacardi NH7 Weekender are to come. ,

Many trends from the 1990s and Y2K are becoming popular again. “With the current trends and OTT looks, I am seeing a lot Excitement—looks inspired by concerts these days,” says celebrity stylist Reen Moradian. “Metallic eye makeup and face crystals, lots of mesh and lace. It is a place to express, enjoy and be free and I am all for it.

For 26-year-old Kabir Khan from Indore, Madhya Pradesh, it was important to be comfortable while looking cool for the Backstreet Boys concert in Mumbai. So he dyed his hair purple. Khan, a public relations professional, says: “You can get noticed so you have to experiment a bit. I also love experimenting with makeup. I like to wear eyeshadow that matches my hair color.”

Mumbai-based Sakina Bootwala believes crochet, which is very popular at concerts in the West, especially at Coachella in the US, is slowly getting some attention here. “The lockdown has made this a popular hobby among the young, TikTok/Instagram-oriented demographic. It is no longer a grandma’s hobby/fashion choice,” says the 25-year-old. “Harry Styles, who regularly appears at concerts and events wearing crotches, has been particularly influential in popularizing the style.”

Her partiality is understandable, as she creates custom crochet-based designs and sells them via Instagram. One of her recent creations was a Dua Lipa-inspired butterfly top, made for a Lollapalooza attendee in Mumbai.

One of the popular choices for concert fashion is merchandise. And that was the styleboard of 37-year-old Mumbai-based communications specialist Malika Bhavnani. She wanted a look that was reminiscent of two famous BSB styles, all black or all white. “I chose an all-white old-school T-shirt and added a pop of color with pink sneakers. And of course, a fanny pack that contained all the essentials—money, bug repellent, tissues and a can of urine-safe spray,” says Bhavanani.

If you also like to wear merch, Moradian suggests going the DIY route and cutting off the sleeves to create really low armholes to turn the T-shirt into a muscle tee. Stylists suggest wearing it with shorts and sneakers. “You can grunge it up and wear leather pants or a leather jacket with your band tee if the weather’s appropriate. You can style the merch casually with jeans or sweatpants. Even dress it up in glitter.” Brighten up with a floor of colour, maybe even a print. Essentially, choose an easy breezy fabric, and you can always accessorise with major jewellery- be it a stack of bangles or a neckpiece.

Pranay Jaitley

Or wear a trendy outfit like a co-ord set, like 29-year-old Pranay Jaitley, a fashion stylist and co-founder of Who Wear What When, did for last week’s concert. “Considering the weather, it was a perfect day to wear shorts,” says Jaitley. To beat the heat, he used a fan in his hand. “The fan was the best wardrobe decision I’ve ever made this summer.”

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