Campus Runway: The Rise Of Extravagant Concert Fashion

COVID-19 has transformed almost every area of life, including concerts.  

Only a few large-scale artists have successfully started touring again. Like the world at large, the atmospheres of post-pandemic concerts stand as different than pre-pandemic ones. People now see a concert as an opportunity to witness their favorite artist perform live, and they recognize the experience can serve as their own personal runway. 

Concertgoers have started going above and beyond with their outfits for live shows. Wearing unconventional outfits seems to be the norm now. It changed the game for the fashion industry, transforming concerts into settings for niche content. 

In the past, outlandish fashion popped up at events like Coachella and other music festivals, but now, we see this trend appearing in global concert tours. Artists like Harry Styles, Dua Lipa and Katy Perry have been trailblazers for this new movement. Let’s break down each tour and analyze how this fashion trend has taken over concerts around the world.

Harry Styles: Love on Tour

Harry Styles has ruled the fashion industry for years. With his dedication to eclectic fashion, it comes as no surprise that his fans match his style. Love on Tour has been home to feather boas, flared pants, funky patterns and lots of glitter, according to Liberty graduate and concertgoer Michaela Goins.  

“Personally, I think people, myself included, were willing to dress way out of their comfort zone just because of the statements Harry makes with his clothing,” Goins said. “It felt like you could genuinely wear whatever outlandish thing you could think of without having to worry about judgement from anyone.” 

When Liberty student Teresa Tran attended Styles’ tour, she noticed that many people recreated his previous looks. Tran found that others based their outfits off his songs  and wore patterned pieces like floral, stripes and zig zags. 

Dua Lipa: Future Nostalgia Tour

Pop star Dua Lipa is notorious for her fashion sense in everyday life, which naturally translated itself into her Future Nostalgia Tour. Her tour brings a vibrant neo-disco energy, combining a nostalgic feel with futuristic style. 

Liberty student Isadora Machado attended the tour and described it as a mix of everything as a diverse audience packed the seats. Machado saw many “Future Nostalgia”-inspired outfits celebrating Lipa’s sophomore album of the same name. She noticed that pink and blue colors, as glittery space-themed outfits, filled the arena. Because Lipa is known for her style, Machado recognized a lot of fun and over-the-top outfits. 

“My favorite look was probably someone who dressed up like her in the ‘Love Again’ music video,” Machado said. “I think people were willing to go all out for this show.”

Katy Perry: PLAY Residency

Katy Perry and her “katycats” are no strangers to incorporating camp fashion into their looks for Perry’s shows. When Perry announced this new residency, many speculated this would be the epicenter for unique and fashionable concert looks, and they were right. 

Many fashion influences like Vogue have recognized this residency as a notable stop in the fashion world. Liberty student Logan Chandler attended Perry’s residency. Chandler recognized all types of style choices at the show and said Perry’s true fans wore a Perry look. 

Lots of them rocked some of her most iconic looks from the past like the Superbowl Halftime Show or looks from her iconic California Dreams Tour. 

“This show was all about being camp and was classic Katy Perry,” Chandler said. “The best dressed fans at the show were allowed to move up to the front.”

This whole idea of “dressing to the nines” for a concert could be something that sticks around, and I like the idea. It brings new excitement and new fan experiences to a concert. Would you ever go above and beyond with your outfits for a concert? Make sure to let me know on Instagram @austinfarmerie. 

Farmerie is a Champion contributor.

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