Palm Springs, remixed: A retro classic is reborn

Palm Springs, Calif., has reawakened, fueled by a renewed fascination with its midcentury modern style and by an annual music festival — the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival — that in recent years has become a celebrity-laden cultural juggernaut. The result is a growing youth-oriented scene that remixes classic desert style in new ways.Even on an unseasonably cool weekend in Palm Springs, the palm-tree- and mountain-framed pool at the Ace Hotel & Swim Club is populated with the young and beautiful. Women lounge under circular sunshades in bikinis and straw fedoras, while for guys, shaggy facial hair is de rigueur. DJ dance music pumps out while a young waitress with tattoos snaking up her arm, wearing a T-shirt that reads “P.S. I (heart) You,” takes drink orders.

Jane Schmidlapp, 25, a grad student at Cal Poly Pomona outside L.A., says she was expecting to drink martinis and soak up an Old Hollywood vibe when she came here with two classmates — Tiffany Davis, 30, and Lina Chan, 25 — for an architecture lecture at the Palm Springs Art Museum. They instead found themselves checking out the boutiques and chic new restaurants downtown.

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