Whereas collaborations between the two industries were once almost considered taboo in some corners of the electronic music community, the last few years have seen a reversal of this trend.
The Fashion Shows with the Greatest Soundtracks Ever.
By now, the gap between the underground music scene and the world of Haute Couture has shrunk to the bone.
Whereas collaborations between the two industries were once almost considered taboo in some corners of the electronic music community, the last few years have seen a reversal of this trend: the world’s most popular DJs and producers have either been involved in the creation of the soundtracks for fashion shows or have taken part themselves with their live performances during fashion shows.
During a show the atmosphere is everything.
Scenery, lighting, location and, of course, the background music, all contribute to creating a unique show that will remain in the memory of those who were there and go down in the history of the magazines. In this constant competition, nothing must be left to chance. Especially the music.
Some, like The Martinez Brothers and Jamie XX, composed and arranged exclusive productions for a designer, others, like Daft Punk for example, created mixes to go with the shows.
In this editorial we will discover the most articulate and successful soundtracks and live sets, created by artists and producers for the fashion houses we love most.
Sebastien Tellier for Chanel
Electronic music composer and singer, Tellier is a regular at Chanel fashion shows. The great Karl Lagerfeld was his great admirer and friend, whose records he collected, inviting him to play live during the 2014 Spring-Summer Haute Couture show.
A legacy taken up by Virginie Viard, the Maison’s current artistic director, who entrusted Tellier with the soundtrack and live performance of the Spring-Summer Haute Couture show.
Plastikman for Prada and Raf Simons
Richie Hawtin Aka Plastikman met Raf Simons in the 1990s. The Belgian designer had always been a great admirer of techno music and Hawtin, and over the years they collaborated on several projects, including with other fashion houses that Simons headed.
When he joined Miuccia Prada as co-creative director of Prada in April 2020, the choice naturally fell on Hawtin for the soundtrack of the luxury fashion house’s first virtual fashion show. “Sin Thetik”, the Soundtrack of the Womens AW21 fashion show was born as a reflection on what the identity of the future might look like, which prompted the German producer and DJ to record the names pronounced by artificial intelligence for each of the models on the catwalk.
Daft Punk for Louis Vuitton
Once upon a time, the world’s most infectious French electronic music duo fascinated even Louis Vuitton with their extravagance.
For the 2008 Spring/Summer Fashion ShowHomem-Christo and Bangalter created a mix of eight tracks, including their production with Kanye West ‘Stronger’ for the catwalk presentation. The compilation emphasized the classic Daft Punk sound, with a deliberately grittier touch than usual, to enhance the models’ performance on the catwalk.
The Martinez Brothers for Givenchy
The Martinez brothers composed, mixed and arranged music for Riccardo Tisci‘s Givenchy shows for several collections in 2014 and 2016, after meeting the famous designer in Ibiza.
For the Givenchy AW14 show, the Chilean duo composed an airy, drumming production that relied on trap samples and looped motifs. The highly structured, layered mix followed the flow of Tisci’s models with perfect synchronicity.
Justice for Dior Homme
In 2009, Kris Van Assche, then artistic director of Dior Homme, commissioned Justice to make a four-part remastered version of their 2005 track ‘Planisphere’: eight minutes of thunderous perfection. A juxtaposition of natural elements and futuristic settings that accompanied the models on the catwalk.
Dixon for Givenchy
For the Givenchy Menswear 2016/2017 collection, the famous German DJ and producer Dixon created a mix of three experimental tracks, in which dissonances and 80s synth melodies chased each other and alternated, in a continuous emotional tension.
Jamie XX for Kenzo
In 2013, experimental electronic producer Jamie XX composed a special mix for Kenzo’s FW Menswear show.
The 10-minute mix was an emotionally driving and powerful production in which Jamie took jazz, groove, tribal, soul and house elements to the next level.
Thom Yorke for Rag & Bone
Few know it, but before becoming Radiohead’s Frontman, Thom Yorke was an electronic music DJ: this genre influenced all his future productions, even the more melodic ones.
At Rag & Bone’s AW13 show during NY Fashion Week, he gave a spectacular live performance during the showcase, introducing the eight-minute track ‘Villain’.
The piece opens with a sombre and blissfully dissonant piano solo, before welcoming the haunting chimes of the Brooklyn Chours live singers.
James Murphy for Ermenegildo Zegna
The genius of LCD Soundsystem composed a special five-minute piece for the SS15 Ermenegildo Zegna Couture fashion show, during which the electronic composer created an exciting chord and saxophone progression, followed by light, fluid jazz rhythms and echoing vocals.