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By Saida M.


While some festivals are more transformational than others, what unites them all is the pursuit of an overall state of happiness.  Stay in a happy, free environment for a week and it might just change you!


Burning Man 2015. Layne is one of my personal heroes. It’s hard to comprehend that this way of expression is only a few years old for Layne. His style transformation is very recent yet no one can imagine him in any other way. And he wears his glitter in his day to day life to! All photos by me.

Let’s face it- festival culture is taking over the world.   And everyone wants in on it.

Brands like H&M, ASOS and Forever 21 are already monetizing the festival trend by designing capsule collections with names like Coachella, and there are also certain fast food chains trying (and getting sued for) the use of Burning Man as a backdrop for their TV commercials.

Both examples are indicative of the growing size of the festival industry. It has provided a fresh take on the way we dress our bodies for such events and these days you can simply go to a store and pick out an outfit in the Festival section, but as with personal style, everything can be personalized to you as well.


“To say that something like that changes you is an understatement!”


I see festival style as a way of soul searching in that it gives you an opportunity to tap into parts of your personal style that are connected to your personal magic, your innermost self. And so perhaps that’s not something you’d want to pick out at mass-market store. Perhaps it’s something that is best created, like a puzzle, with many layers and outlets for expression that come from many sources.

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Whether you’re dressing up for a theme party or just taking a stroll in your casual clothes, Burning Man is a place where radical self-expression takes a whole new meaning.

Burning Man is about to open its gates and on Wednesday I will begin my cross-country trip to the Playa. My own journey began 5 years ago, when I met a tribe of incredible people in New York. That turned out to be a new gate for my self-realization. My own rabbit hole. My red pill.


“You will see so much diversity around you, that it will make you question everything. Starting with how much freedom you now actually have to express yourself.”


Burning Man is not a festival.  Now I can state for a fact that it’s not a place you go to party for a week.  This is a place you go to get transformed.  “Welcome home!” they say at the gates.  It feels like a different universe. Once submerged in it, you become a different version of yourself.

And when it comes to dressing up, you don’t come to Burning Man with a list of looks, you put them together as you adjust to the weather conditions and whatever mood you’re in. After a few days you begin to understand that planing your looks is pointless. You will see so much diversity around you, that it will make you question everything. Starting with how much freedom you now actually have to express yourself.





Me, blowing bubbles at Gratitude Festival. My styles has evolved dramatically over the past 4 years and I can’t remember the last time I felt more true to myself than now. All photos by me.

HEADPIECE design by me, BOOTS- re-purposed custom painted (by me) MIZ MOOZ,




There’s also Gratitude, a festival that strives to create room for artists and showcase a responsible, sustainable way to party. There’s Envision which integrates with the natural environment and local food industry.  Rolling Stone recently put it on their list of 7 wildest transformational festivals of 2016.



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My first handmade headpiece, from my first Burning Man, 2014.


You can literally live your life, chasing festivals around the world these days. You can sell your clothing and accessories designs at some of them, work others, but you can definitely find a way to stay submerged in this culture because of what it offers- a global community of like minded people and endless freedom of expression.

To say that something like that changes you is an understatement.

To say that something like that doesn’t change the way you dress your body and spirit – is silly.

Even the most stubborn fall victim to the abundance of freedom once they have been in it for a few days.


My style has evolved over the past 5 years. I don’t see this as dressing up anymore. This is me, expressing myself freely.


Sequenced Bra- AGENT PROVOCATEUR, Shrug- ROMWE, Belt – BCBG, Sequin Pant – BCBG,

Boots- re-purposed custom painted (by me) MIZ MOOZ

Transformational festivals will introduce you to another world of radical self-expression. And they will make you want to find your spirit animal. And perhaps even animal pack.




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