The Story Behind Alabama Shakes Frontwoman Brittany Howard's Epic Coachella Costume
When it comes to Coachella, artists tend to pull out all the stops onstage—and that includes their wardrobe. Among the highlights this weekend were Jenny Lewis’s three-piece suit with watercolor detail, Kimbra’s gladiator-style minidress, and, seemingly out of left field, Brittany Howard of the Alabama Shakes's incredible caftan. Full disclosure: We knew the bluesy rocker's outfit was going to stun because we got the lowdown on the creation a week before the fest from her newly-enlisted costume designer, Christian Joy.
"It was for Coachella, so it had to be something big," Joy, who also designs for Karen O, Santigold, and Oh Land, told InStyle. Her inspiration for this specific costume, she said, took a page from rock 'n' roll history. "I looked to [jazz musician] Sun Ra and all those patchwork caftans from the '70s," she added. Once she set on a theme, Joy made a sketch (pictured above), screen-printed the dress at her Brooklyn studio, sewed the fabric, and sent it to a patternmaker to be constructed. The whole process took five days from start to finish, but we'd say it was definitely worth it.