I attended this year's two-day Afropunk Festival in Brooklyn, New York.
Attendees came decked out in their own interpretations of "punk."
While the outfits ranged from punk rock to flower child hippie looks, the common theme was Black joy.
Like many, I had seen snapshots and videos of the Afropunk festival — begun in Brooklyn in 2005 as a grassroots celebration of Black alternative music — throughout the years, but something seemed to always get in the way of me going. I didn't quite know what to expect at the festival, but I did know one thing: attendees would bring the fashion. Yes, the music at Afropunk is a draw for many — with artists including Teyana Taylor, Vince Staples, and Flying Lotus performing this year — but it's the fashion that keeps people coming back year after year.
Sheer joy radiated from the festival-goers. Their outfits ranged from punk rock realness to soft flower child vibes, but each person I saw looked so comfortable in their skin and their self-expression that the happiness was contagious.
I knew going into Afropunk that I would get a lesson in fashion, but what I wasn't expecting was a seminar in Black joy.
Here are some of my favorite outfits from this year's festival.
This man was pretty in pink
When people think of Afropunk, leather-adorned rocker outfits tend to come to mind. But this year, I saw several people taking a note from SZA and opting for more whimsical looks.
This man's look was pure 'flower child.'
You expect to see flower crowns at festivals like Coachella, but Afropunk was no different. Flowers were everywhere, adorning 'fros, braids, and Bantu knots.
Pink was everywhere.
Pink has been the color of the moment, with Barbie fandom oozing into every aspect of culture lately. Some were able to take Barbie pink and make it punk.
Pastels were in abundance.
Pairing pastels with chains was an easy way for some people to take their fits from preppy to punk.
Some went for angelic white.
A stark contrast to many of the more goth 'fits, some festival-goers opted for more angelic looks.
This woman embodied a warrior.
Of course, some people opted to stick with the traditional punk route. But hey, if it ain't broke don't fix it.
While this woman channeled her inner goddess.
Pink and florals don't seem like a mix that you would see at Afropunk but somehow the girliness of these two style choices worked together perfectly.
Some attendees opted for tribal prints.
Tribal prints are always going to make an appearance at a festival and honestly, I'm not mad at it.
This attendee's outfit drew a crowd.
Mixed prints can be tough to pull off, but leave it to the Afropunk crowd to get it right every time. There was a line of people waiting to take a picture of this 'fit.
Homemade headdresses were on display.
A great way to add flair to a look is with a headdress. This year, people really used headwraps, headdresses, and hair pieces to express themselves.
And this woman gave punk pixie.
Again, this year was all about taking feminine elements and giving them a punk rock spin. This outfit paired tulle and flowers and still somehow came out looking spunky.
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