Celebrating the Return of Festival Wear – GQ Magazine – All Points East in Victoria Park

After nearly 20 months of donning sweats to attend our solo living room dance parties, we’re excited that festival season is back in the UK! Recently James Pearson-Howes documented the revival of festive fashion at the All Points East music festival in Victoria Park, London for GQ Magazine.

“They wanted me shoot a festival editorial which was pretty wild because we’re only coming out of lockdown. There’s something primeval about festivals. Getting together and sharing a moment together and with music…that’s something I really love. I was really happy to see human beings en masse having a good time.”

This was James’ first shoot for GQ. “As a kid growing up, that was one of the magazines I looked at. It’s a cornerstone of contemporary fashion.”

Part of the appeal in attending a music festival is undoubtedly the people watching and festival wear. James and his team arrived early to walk about the grounds and scout for eye-catching talent. With the stylist towing a box of clothing and accoutrements, the team pulled together a variety of looks to smartly outfit the spirited revelers.

Reminiscent of a rave full of 90s club kids, it only felt natural to document the moments on film. The textured look and feel of film added to the nostalgia of times B.C. – before Covid. James used a digital camera as a Polaroid to check light and shot with a flash as fill. The rest was up to how the moment revealed itself.

The images, some with a hint of blur, capture the spontaneity and energy of the festival. With about 40,000 attendees it was likely that some folks would do more than just let their hair down. “I like the element of chance and chaos,” says James. It was like their very own runway show with talent strutting on fields of grass.

As the world continues to live in various states of lockdown, we look forward to more of these days when we can fearlessly enjoy a concert and find common ground in music we love and fashion we adore.