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There were concerts? Based on the turnout at parties surrounding the Coachella music festival in Indio, Calif., last weekend, it seems a few of the fashion-focused kids may have missed that memo. But who could blame them when there was a full schedule of pool parties hosted or sponsored by brands including Diesel, Lacoste, Sophomore and Express.

Rosario Dawson, Peaches Geldof, Penn Badgley and Vampire Weekend hit Diesel’s bash held at a Spanish-style home. Devendra Banhart hobbled around the estate on crutches, which allowed him to observe the crowd, rather than participate. “Everyone’s handicapped,” he said. “I’m physically handicapped, but everyone else is intoxicated.”

This story first appeared in the April 20, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Lacoste drew Kristen Stewart, Rachel Bilson, Alexa Chung and Emile Hirsch to a ranch house for burgers and swimming with inflatable crocodile toys, while New York designers Chrissie Miller and Madeleine Von Froomer invited pals Alexander Wang, Katy Perry and Lindsay and Ali Lohan to another soiree for an event Kanon Vodka hosted to celebrate their Sophomore collection. Lindsay was already on her third outfit of the day. “Especially for girls, it’s always fun to change, like, every 10 minutes,’” she said. “It’s like, ‘Oh, I was sweating so I had to change.’”

Some of the parties were mini-concerts within themselves, eliminating the need for a ticket to the festival (going rate: $500 scalped).

Express sponsored the Music Lounge at IndiOasis in a private home where Macy Gray and Crystal Method performed next to a miniature golf course. The Dutchess and the Duke and Sondre Lerche played at the Ace Hotel & Swim Club in nearby Palm Springs, playground for Thom Yorke, Flea, John Mayer, Jeremy Scott, LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy, DJ Lance Rock and Colette’s Sarah Lerfel. Andrew Andrew, Peanut Butter Wolf and Orbital also hit the turntables for the crowd.

Then there were folk like Chanel Iman who, at the carnival-themed affair that Armani Exchange and 944 magazine held on the tarmac at the Jacqueline Cochran Regional Airport in Thermal, was unapologetic about her lack of interest in seeing a show.

“I’m here for the after parties,” she said, taking a spin on the mechanical bull while wearing strappy stilettos. “If I had known [it was a carnival], I would have worn flats.”


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