I Can’t Help But Rave About That Outfit Of Yours
When you hear the word “rave”, the first image that enters the mind tends to be something along the lines of a dim, hazy crowd of dilated eyes and poor decisions. Not parent-approved. Possibly your place of death?
When I found myself at the security gates of the first rave (also known as an EDM festival when describing it to your mom & dad) I had ever been to, you would not be surprised that my nerves left me with feelings of angst and thoughts of making a run for the parking lot. It had been none other than one of those classic college student moves, yuuuhhh know, the spontaneous ones your squad will hopefully laugh about in the future. Well, I made it out alive. & lemme tell you kids, walking through those doors has allowed me to make memories that still give me goose bumps today.
I have never been SOOOO thankful that I was wrong. You see these crazy, somewhat scary images of dazed people & intimidating outfits on the Internet (like no wonder raves can get such a bad rap), but when my own eyes saw the head-banging, severely parched crowd in person, my brain was in awe-
this is art.
It belonged in Le Louvre. It was truly a masterpiece. All of the colors. All of the glitter. All of the shapes & patterns. It’s a form of self-expression. It’s breathtaking. It’s psychedelic. It’s gaudy. It’s full of masks, fishnet, bandannas, beads, & pasties. It was poly-chromatic (essspppecially when wearing kaleidoscope goggles OHEMGEE). I imagine that this must be similar to the rush that shot through the veins of explorers… is this the wonder García López de Cárdenas thought when he first saw the Grand Canyon or is this the adrenaline Nicholas Cage felt when he stole the Declaration of Independence?
The vibes were welcoming me, calling my name, summoning my spirit– was I home?
The outfits exhibited by us ravers are fine demonstrations of the intricacy of fashion. The exotic make-up and hairstyles we are too afraid to take away from Vogue & bring into daily life can be found in every corner of the audience. There is a universal acceptance here; audacity is hailed & the unconventional is idolized. Looks deemed to be “a little too weird” can be displayed without hesitation in this setting. A rave is a blank canvas that embraces ALL paints & oils.
I spends weeks before a rave compiling creativity & brainpower to develop attire with the perfect amount of vibrancy. You know the excitement of getting ready for prom or Halloween? This is that. My friends & I bond over outfit ideas & share Pinterest pins & tag each other in posts on Instagram. Really anything that will spark that moment of inspiration! Fashion is exercised & experimented at raves, which can actually make it an indicator of upcoming trends.
Both the female & male populations participate in the styling. Our inner child is brought out…racing around Michael’s, searching for the beads (particularly the letters even though we really just need some extra vowels), snatching up string, & comparing the various type, sizes, & colors of glitter. & the workers stare, probably high-key judging us young adults for making a bigger scene than the average preschooler. Actually, I think kandi making is such an art in itself that it deserves its own blog post (hmmm…).
I was going to explain some of my favorite outfits I’ve seen, but honestly they can not be accurately described solely with words.
So I am going to leave you with these pictures, but I truly hope that if the music does not sway you to purchase tickets to the next rave, that your genuine appreciation for fashion will.