24 Looks That Take "Fancy" & Flip It On Its Head

Photographed by Graham Walzer.
When you think of a ball, images of luxe banquet halls and Beauty and the Beast-style, floor-length gowns immediately come to mind. But this is 2016, and nothing is as it used to be. This held especially true at Afropunk's first annual Fancy Dress Ball in Los Angeles this past weekend. The Brooklyn-based music festival decided to put its stylish show-going crowd to the test in a new fancy setting on the opposite coast — and the results were just as impressive as they were at its summer sister.

But again, just because we're talking about getting dressed up doesn't mean the looks ahead are your typical party dress-and-heels ensembles. In fact, this crowd looks well aware that style rules are meant to be broken. Here, we saw jeans and patterned jumpsuits, extra-wide bell-bottoms, and some pretty sick outerwear (read: vintage fur coats, patent trenches, vintage kimonos, and power blazers) — and not a tulle skirt or sweetheart neckline in sight.

Basically, this was one major dose of fearless-dressing inspiration, and with a full calendar of seasonal get-togethers ahead, it couldn't have come at a better time. Click through to see how 24 women take the notion of "fancy" and completely flip it on its head.
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Photographed by Graham Walzer.
Michele Harper

How would you describe your look?

"Art, magic, light, love."
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Sterri Alexander, 42

How would you describe your look?
"Freedom from consumerism."
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Youjong Chae, 24

How would you describe your look?
"Sparkling queen."
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Miryam Lumpini, 25

How would you describe your look?
"Afropunk."
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Sesalli Castillo, 26

How would you describe your look?
"Bold, comfort."
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Kristine Lee, 31

How would you describe your look?
"A joyful expression of humanity."
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Shaina Robinson, 28

How would you describe your look?
"'70s Michael Jackson."
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Olu Funmi, 33 and Bex Durant, 30

How would you describe your look?
Olu: "Infinite blackness."

Bex: "Social war."
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Unique Jenkins, 25

How would you describe your look?
"Bold, fierce, eclectic, African tribe, unique."
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Ilse Valfré, 29 and Gabi Neslon, 25

How would you describe your look?
"Everyday black with a touch of color."
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Michele Chantel, 30

How would you describe your look?
"Color."
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Elise Welch, 31

How would you describe your look?
"Fabulous, glitter."
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Photographed by Graham Walzer.
Jazmin Garcia, 30

How would you describe your look?
"Sade sensibilities."
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Photographed by Graham Walzer.
Mylesha Ramey, 23

How would you describe your look?
"Chill neon."
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Photographed by Graham Walzer.
Polly A.

How would you describe your look?
"Highest version of [my] self."
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Photographed by Graham Walzer.
Siku Thompson, 30

How would you describe your look?
"Self-expression."
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Photographed by Graham Walzer.
Ralleg, 28

How would you describe your look?
"Freedom."
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Photographed by Graham Walzer.
Wamaha Wawera, 36

How would you describe your look?
"World culture."
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Photographed by Graham Walzer.
Paula Duran, 30 and Alexandra Gonzalez, 24

How would you describe your look?
Paula:
"Frida Kahlo-inspired, expression through art."

Alexandra: "Mexican culture and diversity."
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Photographed by Graham Walzer.
Cynthia Sosa

How would you describe your look?
"Yassss!"
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Photographed by Graham Walzer.
Michelle Charles, 29

How would you describe your look?
"Fucking fabulous."
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