Music, like fashion, has the ability to connect people of all demographics. It is because of this undeniable bond between the sonic and visual—both so important to designers—that runway music plays such a crucial role for any fashion runway event. The goal for designers is to find the right music that not only complements the months of creative processes, but also contributes to a flawless presentation of works. At times, music can round out a collection so perfectly. Other times… not so much.
I still recall stumbling upon the runway video of the AA Milano Fall/Winter 2000 debut collection. Models wearing the opening looks, composed of primarily burgundy and black, stomped out to “The Rhyme” by the Strike Boys, blasted over loudspeakers. The feel-good pulsating of the drums worked hand-in-hand with the womenswear, and the confidence in the models’ faces was accentuated by the tune.
The digital age has increased fashion industry enthusiasts’ accessibility to follow what is on the runway. Fast-forward a decade to when the late Alexander McQueen streamed his Spring/Summer 2010 presentation, Plato’s Atlantis, in Paris. The first few models came out wearing his famed Armadillo shoes, while pulsating jungle sounds played over the loud speaker. These jungle sounds were mixed with electronic beats to help set the mood. Lady Gaga helped McQueen expand to larger demographics by premiering her single “Bad Romance” as the ending to the show, which also helped the show gain attention from Gaga’s loyal fanbase. The collection was intended to be live-streamed on Nick Knight’s SHOWstudio.com, until 30 minutes before the show when Gaga herself tweeted about the single’s debut. Within seconds of the tweet being sent out, the SHOWstudio website crashed. As a fashion and music lover, I feel that this premier was the perfect combination of music and fashion. The song worked so perfectly that McQueen’s collection ended up being one of the most notable parts of the song’s music video.
Mugler, unfortunately, does not always get the mix perfect. For the Spring/Summer 2013 Womenswear show, the team selected a heavily pitch-altered, trap-styled song entitled “Cake” (also by Gaga) for the runway show. Some lyrics were difficult to understand and distracted people attending the show. Pop Dust compared the song to “an unfinished demo, something tossed off in a matter of hours.”
As the summer winds down and fashion houses all over the globe are prepping their collections for September Fashion Week, designers and producers are carefully blending soundtrack and creation to showcase their months of designing in the best way possible. Our eyes and ears are certainly ready.
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Credits: Written by Jared Gelman. Images from Style Italia.