Fashion Freakouts at Ultra Music Festival 2011

Recently, an old friend uncovered a photo from our "rave" days. She was sort of horrified by the goggles, gigantic pant legs, and the teeny tiny shirt she's wearing in the picture. The thing is, that shit was cool then, right? Right??? Right.

For years it seemed like no one dressed as ridiculously as we did in the '90s. But apparently, we were just old and out of the loop. The legions of little ravers at the Ultra Music Festival weren't thinking of how they'll feel looking back. These little drug-addled weirdos are a group of dance fanatics, united by thread or yarn or furry Shetland pony leg warmers.

We've gathered a few of our favorite fashion sightings from the three day ecstasy... um... electronic music fest. The girl wearing the graffiti "I'm in Ultra Bitch" shirt and the guy in the baseball cap made of glow sticks didn't make the cut. But these colorful folks in their "intriguing" ensembles did.

​This psychedelic mama has been wearing this ensemble since 1995, which is kind of neat if you just look at it and don't think about it. Tie dye is classic. Clogs are comfy and Dutch timeless. It's really only that large pocket in the front of the skirt that gives her 15-year-old look away. That is an OG rave skirt.

​The Shetland pony look was the big thing at Ultra this year. Not sure where you can purchase these, but they come in every color of the rainbow. You know, to match perfectly with your tutu and thong. Another essential: Backpacks ... 'Cause they're great for storing things you don't want to lose, like drugs and your youth.

This buff babe took the concept of furry calves to the next level and covered every inch of her legs with Care Bear flesh. In the 85-degree heat, these pants are nothing but yeast-makers. She looks lovely, though, with the ribbons in her hair. And the high tops add a hip edge to the beast look.

This tattoo's gotta be ten years old. It's definitely a '90s original. Bet there's even a fairy in there or magically colored mushrooms. The beaded bracelets are so DIY, and thus, of the moment. It's nice how the color of her garb complements her tat.

​This kid was just the cutest find of the festival. Look at the little suspenders. They say, I'm topless, but sensible. The star pin and fishnet sleeves sing "Liza," while the scarf screams "old French lady."

Summary: Looking good is important at a sweaty, dusty, foul engagement like Ultra. And all these people said something with their outfits. They said, "I am out of touch with contemporary couture." Subcultures are more interesting than the mainstream, this one just happens to be a bit more colorful than the rest. Rave on, sweet ravers. Rave on.

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Liz Tracy has written for publications such as the New York Times, the Atlantic, Refinery29, W, Glamour, and, of course, Miami New Times. She was New Times Broward-Palm Beach's music editor for three years. Now she plays one mean monster with her 2-year-old son and obsessively watches British mysteries.
Contact: Liz Tracy