Monday, 19 August 2013

Return from the Wilderness













A variety of colours, outfits and locations as I ambled around Wilderness 

Last weekend was one of spectatorship and spectacle. I was enjoying the wonders of Wilderness festival with my friend Flo, courtesy of Hunter boots. Perhaps our time there is best described through a series of snapshots, or short recollected reels of footage. There was the cold lake full of swimmers, all of us held by the green expanse and occasional clumps of weeds. The life-drawing tent, hushed apart from the scrape of charcoal as we sketched limbs and outlines. A valley filled with masked revelers at midnight.  The ‘village hall’ decked out with bunting and scrabble boards. Stalls devoted to the flash and flicker of sequins. Flags in the breeze. Burnt orange sunsets. Art instillations. Large crowds. Queues for coffee. Plenty of tutus, feathers, glitter and other magnificent costumes (the atmosphere of a music festival does seem a little like the modern day version of Bakhtin’s writing on Carnivalesque).  

Then there was the food. It was a rare treat to forgo pre-festival plans on how to make pasta and salad stretch across three days. Instead, thanks to Hunter we could indulge. We had stone baked pizzas with oil dripping everywhere, a chunk of blue cheese with chutney and crackers for our second lunch, crumpets with smoked salmon as a decadent 1am snack. I booked a Sunday feast in the St John dining tent, meaning my first taste of snails (a little like garlicky leaf mulch in a good way) and a mouth-watering roast. In between these highlights there were brownies, breakfast muffins and breadsticks with olives. But perhaps the highpoint was taking our boxes of J Sheekey fish and chips and rowing across the lake. We sat in the soft bronze light of early evening, fingers greasy as we ate. Occasionally one of us would grab an oar to steer us out of the way of a looming bank or other boat.

Music became an integral bonus, rather than the sole focus. Sam Lee’s set was short but perfect, utterly suited to the sunny Saturday afternoon. Tom Odell’s stage presence was infectious. Penny Arcade Quartet's four-part acapella group were incredible with their Daft Punk cover and Destiny’s Child/ BeeGees and R Kelly/ Marvin Gaye mash ups. Many of the more extraordinary performances weren’t purely musical. We also saw physical theatre, dance and aerial artistry. Transe Express had an entire band suspended from the struts of a metal ‘petal’ that expanded, contracted and rotated high in the night sky. Seeing bells and drums played in mid-air will be hard to forget. Les Pepones specialised in dizzying acrobatic feats with their performers swinging from one pair of hands to another through the dark evening. The capacity of the human body became wholly compelling as we wondered what flip or stunt might come next.

After days full of activity, Flo and I took pleasure in the ritual of dressing up. The sturdy shorts and shirts of daytime were replaced with sprawling sixties prints, vintage velvet and home-made beaded mask for me - geometric jumpsuits and fringing for her. We assumed our characters and painted our lips. Then the wellies were pulled back on for the hours of dancing ahead. 



Flo looking fabulous, as she always does 

All photos of me are courtesy of Flo's eye for framing, light and a good background. The ones above were taken with her camera, those below the result of a Lomo workshop she attended. You can see more of her work here. Glad to have a visual record of us in our finery. Thanks again to Hunter (you can see some more snippets from the festival on their Instagram.) 




19 comments:

Welly Jenny - A Girl who loves Wellies said...

WOW Rosalind seeing you wearing your Hunter Wellies makes me very excited, you look adorable.
Jennifer
x

Closet Fashionista said...

That seventh photo is my favorite!! So safari chic! :D
I have never been to a music festival, I'm not a fan of crowds, but they always look so fun!
http://www.closet-fashionista.com

Caitlin Rose said...

Ohhh your beaded mask is lovely Rosalind! This looks like an amazing festival!
And thanks for your lovely comment! It's the first for my new blogšŸ˜Š.
Also, I've been thinking about your green dress from the last post, and I've figured out what it kind of reminds me of: Scarlett o'hara's green dress!!!

Jean at www.drossintogold.com said...

So much fun to be had in the world!!! There's dressing up, eating wonderful food, and dancing to live music, enjoying all the heady sensations of that precise moment in time. I think my favorite shot, if I just had to choose, would be the one where you're jumping up in the air. It looks like you're about to fly away, magically.

Let's not forget friends, too. All the more fun and magic. XXOO

Lydia said...

What a fun environment for fashion experimentation! Outdoor festivals are the best. You guys look phenomenal.

FASHION TALES said...

Now, this looks like splashes of fun, and you ladies enjoying every moment of your environment. I cannot get over how glorious that photo is of you with your arms spread open. Of course, there's nothing like a festival, wonderful company, and chunks of Roquefort. Yes, this all sounds just fine to me! :-) /Madison

Vix said...

Gorgeous pictures! I love your stripy tunic, you look like you've stepped straight out of the Sixties with the grainy photograph.
It isn't all about the music is it? A festival is a party, a time to dance and celebrate life. x

Thrifted Shift said...

What a fun event! I love the first photo, it's so pretty. And your 1am smoked salmon and crumpet snack sounds wonderful! I'm going to add both those things to my grocery list!

OrigamiGirl said...

It's not every fashion blog that has time to reference the Carnivalesque! Makes me miss my uni days so very much I have to say when you slip these casual references in. :)
I do agree though, that a festival is something more than the sum of its parts. I feel like they are almost like rites of pasage.

I do love how dressed you got, thank goodness it wasn't Glastonbury weather where everything would be ruined! I went to a festival like that once and everything I owned came back caked in mud.
And thank you for the lovely comment on my blog. Actually it was in part your older posts about Hay that helped inspire the idea of going there on a honeymoon. I'm just about done reading all the books I got there! Only the big book on Turner and the Jack Vance left.

Emalina said...

Ahhh it looks like you had the most wonderful time at Wilderness! I love both your lovely practical daytime gear and then the utterly splendid drama of your dress-ups for dancing away the night. You both look great and clearly had a ball, I'm so glad. Pic no 7 is the embodiment of festival fun!

Izzy DM said...

Sounds like a fabulous, fun time. I love my Hunter boots. Every girl in New York has a pair! You must considering you have to walk through all kinds of slush and rain and mud.

Had to google Bakhtin. Thanks for teaching me something :). Rich, lovely prose. I particularly enjoyed this piece.
xx
Izzy
www.brooklynbooksandbabies.com

Wioletta M. said...

Lovely looks and photos! <3

www.fashion-utopia.com

Pop Champagne said...

food and music can't go wrong with that haha, and loveee the masks here <3

Jo said...

Wow! You both look gorgeous and fun - exactly how I would like to dress for a festival :)

Willow said...

So much fabulousness in one post, your delicious descriptions of food, music, dancing and your awesome time at Wilderness.
All the photos and clothes are gorgeous (I can't stop looking at that photo of the beautiful lake).

Something I love most about this post is that it's packed with sparkles and shiny things...that glitter eye make-up looks stunning on you and brings out those gorgeous green eyes. And I know I guy who would be incredibly envious of that amazing sequined cape.

vintagevixenarts said...

What fun!!! It sounded and looked like wonderful good time's! Your photo's were fantastic as usual, and your writing had me floating along with you enjoying your fish and chip's!

Beatrix said...

Wow great photos, that sequin jacket is incredible!
B x

Bella Q said...

Lovely memories there must be- and what a great set of photos. You're such a great creature.

odysseyhome.com said...

What fun that must have been. You both look pretty and carefree.