Vanessa Hudgens Talks Festival Style

Vanessa Hudgens is regularly called the Queen of Coachella, and with festival season officially in full swing the former “High School Musical” star tells Access that she’s ready to rock this season. 

And this year, the actress and fashion maven has taken her style one step further. The “Grease: Live!” alum now has her own festival collection of nail shades with SinfulColors. On Wednesday, as she launched her collection with an event at the Dream Hotel in Hollywood, we chatted with her about her festival style.

Access: How excited are you for festival season?
Vanessa Hudgens:
I’m stoked. It’s fun. … It comes and it’s the beginning of warm, cool days ahead.

Vanessa-Hudgens-Talks-Festival-Style
Vanessa Hudgens Talks Festival Style (Getty Images)

Access: … Everyone is always watching your Instagram feed and wondering what you’re going to wear [to Coachella]. So how far in advance do you plan out your [looks]?
Vanessa: It’s like day-of, honestly. I just throw so much stuff into a suitcase. Sometimes it’s a little more planned, but I think this year there’s just going to be a big old suitcase with a lot of stuff in it.

Access: How do you plan for something like Coachella, where you don’t necessarily know how hot it’s going to be?
Vanessa: You just know it’s hot. It’s hot during the day and cold at night.

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Access: Do you sort of have a theme for some of the stuff you’re going to wear? ‘Cause you had the butterfly outfit the one time, with the wings. … Taking you back [with that memory].
Vanessa: I found those wings and I was obsessed with them, and Camilla’s a brand that I love. They make super-amazing like, basically butterfly floral dresses. So, I threw that together. But it’s honestly whatever I find that year, whatever I’m into that year. Just kind of anything goes and that’s why I love festivals because it’s truly a place to express yourself where judgment is out the window.

Access: Tell me about your — especially related to this [Sinful Colors collection] — tell me about your festival nail style.
Vanessa:
Just fun. I mean, that’s one of the reasons why I wanted to do a festival collection. It is a place where you can go and express yourself and do anything your heart desires when it comes to beauty and the nail polish collection is one that I am very fond of. There’s a bunch of really amazing, fun colors and a bunch of them work really well together so you can do like an ombre look on your nails where you put the two colors together, and it’s just fun. I love being able to express myself through beauty.

Access: How involved in the process were you? In the colors?
Vanessa: I was involved to the point of being very overwhelmed (laughs). There are so many colors on this planet. It’s kind of crazy the combinations you can do, but definitely sat at a table with hundreds of colors in front of me, kind of picking and choosing how to throw it all together.

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Access: What made you choose these colors — the ones that you’ve got?
Vanessa: They’re all kind of different, but fun. And there’s some neutrals and some bolder colors. I feel like there’s just a little something for everyone.

Access: Do you do your own nails?
Vanessa: Sometimes, yeah. I mean, I think that there’s something really meditative about sitting down and just painting your nails that I love, so it definitely happens.

Access: I want to know what some of your favorite festival looks have been over the years — that you’ve worn. … I even printed some of them out! Here you go.

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Vanessa: This was really cute. This was like this little vintage dress that I found that I loved.

Vanessa: Having wings — it just released my inner butterfly and who doesn’t want to be a butterfly? Love that.

Vanessa Hudgens attends Day 3 of the 2012 Coachella Music Festival at Empire Polo Club on April 15, 2012 in Indio, Calif.
Vanessa Hudgens attends Day 3 of the 2012 Coachella Music Festival at Empire Polo Club on April 15, 2012 in Indio, Calif. (Getty Images)

Vanessa: That was so long ago.

Access: But it’s so cute though. One of my coworkers called it ‘iconic.’
Vanessa: Oh wow, werk! Yeah, I feel like that was just one of those moments where … this year that I went, I stayed in a trailer and I didn’t have a full-length mirror. So, that’s what happened there (laughs). I mean, it’s fine, but that’s the reality of it. 

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Day2 #Coachella

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Vanessa: I loved this look. I found this top and it was really lightweight and not metal. It was plastic, so I knew that it would be wearable in the desert, in blazing heat. This is a little vintage Chanel backpack that I have and shorts that I got probably three years before that, boots that I’ve had forever. It’s just about finding pieces and throwing them all together, which is why I said it ends up being a big suitcase just full of stuff.

Access: [What are some] of your favorite festival music memories over the years.
Vanessa: Probably Arcade Fire and Radiohead. I feel like Arcade Fire is just the ultimate festival band. To be barefoot on the grass with that warm breeze blowing, with your hands in the air, just singing along to their songs – spiritual. And I’m also the biggest Radiohead fan and I’ve seen them at Coachella twice, and I’m just obsessed with them.

Access:  … You did a movie that’s coming out. [Tell me about] ‘Dog Days.’ Fun cast for that too.
Vanessa:
Ken Marino, the director, just texted me and he said he’s locking the picture soon and how excited he is … He said that he’s just so happy with how it’s coming together. It’s so funny because it’s a bunch of different storylines that barely interconnect, but when I got this, I remember Nina [Dobrev] being like, ‘Yay! We’re finally going to be able to work together.’ And then we didn’t have a single day of shooting together.

Access: Lastly, what are your festival survival tips … how do you survive a festival?
Vanessa: Powder compact — with like a sponge in it to kind of dab away the sweat — rosewater, and essential oils.

Jolie Lash

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