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The best Lollapalooza fashion: We look back at the zaniest, coolest festival styles from years past

By David Syrek, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Fashion Daily News

CHICAGO - Lollapalooza has been a fixture in Chicago for 15 years, and in that time has evolved into a social gathering that celebrates style as much as it does music. Each year is defined not only by the performances on stage, but also by the runway of street style that descends on Grant Park. Recall the 2012 sea of crochet dresses, the ubiquitous flower wreaths of 2013 or the glitter explosion of 2017 that covered just about everyone in some way.

"There's always been a tendency to reference a romanticized version of decades past and nostalgic themes; it allows for escapism and connection to a time that the Gen Z and millennials didn't experience firsthand," said Hannah Craggs, a senior youth strategist at trend forecasting agency WGSN. "Festival fashion provides an opportunity to dress up, and for attendees to experiment with their field-raving, free-spirited alter ego - at least for a long weekend."

These mass trends are fueled in part by the rise of fast fashion retailers, which make new styles quickly accessible to a wide audience, and Instagrammers hoping to make a mark. But through all the sameness, individuality somehow emerges, with festival-goers bringing fresh ideas and creating their own standout looks. Each year takes on its own fantastic vibe, with style putting a visual stamp on the weekend.


With the festival off this year due to COVID-19, we got a little wistful for the fashionable display we'll miss out on. So here are a few of our favorite looks from Lollas of years past.

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