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SXSW sets the agenda for 2015 festival fashion

Is SXSW the bellwether of festival fashion? As the first big, live, international event of the season, it has the dubious honour of setting the style agenda for attendees and performers. Granted, it isn’t your average festival, with the whole techie precursor to the music bit, but there are famous people on stage so let’s go with it. And the news from Austin, Texas is: black is back. Radical, we know.

Model Karlie Kloss made an early trend statement, appearing on stage at her first SXSW festival wearing a black polo shirt, black trousers and white trainers. She’d clearly done her tech-geek-chic homework: the normcore polo shirt and the Larry David trainers were her way of proving that she was more Cupertino than catwalk.

Kate Tempest performs at SXSW. Photograph: James Goulden Photography/James Goulden Photography

Meanwhile, Henry Rollins of Black Flag fame took to the stage to discuss his first acting role in He Never Died, wearing a black crew neck T-shirt that could only be described as one of the cornerstones of pedestrian fashion – the ultra-practical fashion movement that is set to become this year’s normcore. His arm tattoos were his only accessory.

Urban poet Kate Tempest followed suit with a black T-shirt and arm tattoos. Now, as any trend watcher knows, a trend is born after three concurrent sightings of a look, and a quick consultation with an insider at cult LA tattooist Dr Woo confirms that Kloss also has tats.

Henry Rollins at SXSW. Photograph: Tommy Jackson/Redferns via Getty Images

So it’s official. Festival fashion for 2015 is going to revolve around black T-shirts and tattoos, and with Kanye set to headline Glastonbury, this festival trend could have some big-name backing soon. It’s a bold view, and one that is completely at odds with Anna Wintour’s comments this week that normcore is dead and individualism is back.

Whoever is right, the question is: will black T-shirts and tattoos finally see off “vintage” dresses and flower headbands? We can but hope.

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