The idea of quiet luxury is nothing new, and even its most recent iteration has been bubbling up for well over a year now. After logo-mania took over the runways in the beginning of the decade, an overcorrection followed, aided by the rise of stealth wealth conversations on TikTok and, of course, the popularity of Succession and its depiction of the mega rich and their extremely inconspicuous yet outrageously expensive wardrobe. The recent fall/winter 2023 shows, with an emphasis on “real dressing” solidified how cool it can look to just dress, well...well, plain and simple. There have been brands that have championed this idea since their founding (think The Row, Loro Piana), but now, the style is infiltrating even the most unexpected of places, namely Coachella Valley in mid-April.
The first weekend of the 2023 Coachella Music Festival is officially behind us, which means we can look back at what all of your favorite celebrities, models, influencers, and performers wore for their time in the desert. But while the Coachella uniform has been, for many years a bohemian style, defined by lace, fringe, and, at one point, the offensive appropriation of Native headdresses, it seems that things are finally starting to move into a different, sleeker direction.
The obvious purveyor of the stealth wealth-ification of Coachella is Kendall Jenner, who over the past year or so has been adopting a more toned-down style, often opting for sleek The Row or Bottega Veneta looks to contrast the bright, trendy pieces favored by, say, her little sis. It was no surprise, then, when the model attended the festival over the weekend in a decidedly simple look from St. Agni—a pair of low-rise, black pants and a simple black tank (with the added touch of some back cutouts). In years past, Jenner layered on the necklaces, put her hair in space buns, and threw on some neon green boots, but in 2023, she could have just as easily been grabbing lunch with a friend in Calabassas in her Coachella look. When she returned to the festival grounds days later to walk around with her rumored beaux, headliner Bad Bunny, she once again kept things sleek, wearing black straight-leg jeans and a white t-shirt, rolled up onto her shoulders for a muscle look. The result provided a kind of “I’m too cool for this” air, and in classic quiet luxury fashion, despite the simplicity of these looks, they likely still cost more than a three-day VIP pass plus luxury lodging.
But Jenner was hardly the only one to bring laidback style to Coachella this year. Daisy Jones costars Suki Waterhouse and Camila Morrone also took heed. The two attended Revolve Festival—a nearby event that runs parallel to Coachella—in coordinating denim-forward looks. And I’m not talking about the eye-catching denim bikinis, bralettes, and maxi dresses that Dua Lipa favors (which would all, by the way, make for very good Coachella outfits), but just plain ol’ jeans. Morrone’s look was similar to Jenner’s second, featuring light wash Re/Done jeans, a James Perse tee, and an over-sized jean jacket on top. Waterhouse, meanwhile, wore a straight-leg pair that pooled on the floor atop her white Seychelles heels (and likely got very dirty by the end of the afternoon). She kept her look slightly Coachella coded with a denim printed bralette and bright blue Olga Berg purse, but her heavily casual Solid & Striped button-down provided an outfit that seemed like a second thought in the best way possible.
Speaking of second thought looks, no one pulled that aesthetic off quite like Zoey Deutch, whose simple festival attire caused quite the disproportioned stir on the Internet. The actress attended the first evening in a black jean mini skirt, a light blue graphic tee, Dad sneakers, and a baseball hat. She walked the grounds with her boyfriend, Jimmy Tatro, and in general, just looked happy to be there. This is the kind of look someone wears when they are just going to Coachella for the music. Not for the photo ops, for the press, for the events, but because they’re just genuinely a big fan of Labrinth or Kaytranada, or Bad Bunny. Many online appreciated her “IDGAF” outfit, others condemned her for not trying, but Deutch’s look is a reminder that the majority of those attending the festival are not there to provide the general public with content, but to...attend a festival. Her look was similar to one worn by Hailey Bieber over the weekend who, after attending countless Coachellas over the years, both in support of her husband and prior to their relationship, likely no longer looks at it as anything more than a day out with friends, and dressed accordingly.
The next day, Deutch did wear a more curated ensemble, but one that fell even more into the category of quiet luxury. The actress attended day two in a white, oversized suit, with just a black bra underneath. The price tag actually didn’t fit the inherently pricey trend as the set was from H&M, but the aesthetic most definitely did.
Of course, Coachella coded luxury hasn’t reached the same level of simplistic chic that it has in the world of everyday dressing. There’s still a touch of festivalwear in many of these looks, but compared to the Coachella classics of yore, they’re downright revolutionary. If someone really wanted to merge the two worlds of stealth wealth high fashion and Coachella Valley couture, they would take a note from Matthieu Blazy and Glastonbury-regular Kate Moss and wear that secretly leather look from Bottega Veneta’s spring/summer 2023 collection. Now that would be an inconspicuous serve.