by Elli Stuhler
Music and fashion have a lot to borrow from one another. Even if it’s strictly hype, the two go together like Weezer and thick-rimmed glasses, like Bruce Springsteen and white t-shirts, and like Lady Gaga and hot pants. However, what’s on the billboards may not exactly be what’s on the runways. Agenda Inc., “insight and thought-leadership partner for luxury brands,” has recently released a document that gives an overview of play lists from the Spring/Summer 2010 fashion shows in Paris, London, Milan and New York. Curiously, there were some patterns, and – dare I say – trends in the musical selections. Bands like Nouvelle Vague and New Order remained runway favourites and last year’s runway darlings the Ting Tings were replaced by less sugary acts like The Gossip and The XX. Some not mentioned here are Major Lazar (6 plays), Franz Ferdinand (6 plays) and Duran Duran (5 plays). Here are some of our top-played favourites.
Band Name: The Gossip
Band Bio: This self-designated “genre-bending DIY post-punk” just released their major label studio debut Music For Men, a title which guitarist Brace Paine refers to as a “feminist joke.” This is only okay because the band is fronted by one of the most sassy, stylish ladies out there. Formed in 1999 in Olympia, Washington, this trio was the single most played at FW’s this year.
Number of Plays: 10
To Name a Few Designers: Gucci, Bottega Vaneta and thrice at BCBG
Why They Belong on the Catwalk: With Beth Ditto’s stage presence (like putting the audience on “bleedwatch”), their sexy bass lines and extreme-dancability it was only natural for the Gossip to spread from the dance floor to the runway. Especially considering Ditto’s high demand in the fashion world: in March she was flown to Paris by Fendi to perform a set for the VIP elites, where she was also photographed sitting near Paul McCartney at Stella McCartney’s FW show. This season, her track Dimestore Diamond (tied with No You Girls by Franz Ferdinand and Shoes by Tiga) was the top played song on the runways. It also remains one of the top played songs in my bedroom, where I oft find myself strutting about and singing into my hairbrush. Too much information?
Artist Name: Iggy Pop
Artist Bio: James Newell Osterberg Jr. was born in April of 1947 in Michigan. In the last 62 years he has invented the stage dive, puked on his audience, released over 25 albums and played a critical role in the innovation of punk.
Number of Plays: 7
To Name a Few Designers: Herve Leger, twice at Peter Petrov, twice at Rebecca Taylor
Why He Belongs on the Catwalk: Since Stooges-era sounds like “Now I Wanna be Your Dog”, Iggy’s voice has always been dripping with smut: flashback to the post-club lovemaking scene in Trainspotting where the sleazy “Nightclubbing” aptly plays in the background. In the last forty years Iggy’s voice seems to have fermented with cigarettes and booze, leading to his recent husky, New Orlean’s jazz – influenced album Preliminaires, an album he says was made for France.
Artist Name: The XX
Artist Bio: This London quartet formed in 2005 and released their self-produced debut in August of this year. Since then, they’ve toured with Florence and the Machine, worked with Diplo and were place 6th on the NME Future 50 list.
Number of Plays: 7
To Name a Few Designers: Gucci, Gianfranco Ferre (Women)
Why They Belong on the Catwalk: Looks unveiled on the runway exist dominantly as hype predictions, so it makes sense that the musical accompaniment should stand for the same thing. The XX’s sultry, London-coated vocals meshed with electric guitar picking and minimal electric accents create mysteriously subdued dance tracks perfect for snaking down the runway.
Band Name: Dead Weather
Band Bio: A supergroup if I ever saw one, Jack White meets Alison Mosshart of The Kills meets Dead Fertita of Queens of the Stone Age meets Jack Lawrence of the Raconteurs. The lovechild of these black-clad authorities proves to be more than just another Jack White side project. It’s also nice to see that the lady in the band does more than play the drums with the same bored expression on her face.
Number of Plays: 3
To Name a Few Designers: Fendi
Why They Belong on the Catwalk: The Fendi SS show was set exclusively to Dead Weather, offering the creamy silk pastels a little much-needed edge. In this case, the Dead Weather’s raw, heavy guitar sounds accompanied by Mr. White’s tantalizing vocals ultimately make this collection, perfect for outstretched-pinky garden parties in the Hamptons, seem a little more badass.
Artist Name: Michael Jackson
Artist Bio: If you didn’t already know, MJ was part of the wildly popular Jackson 5 way back in the 70’s. He proceeded to become the King of Pop, invent the moonwalk, set up Neverland ranch, and perhaps fondle little boys.
Number of Plays: 6
To Name a Few Designers: Okenzo, Sonia Rykel and thrice at Y-3, a curious set comprised of MJ, Guns n Roses and the national anthems of the US of A, Spain, Germany and Japan.
Why They Belong on the Catwalk: It’s MJ! And he just died! Of course he would be on the runways, seeing as half the looks displayed were inspired by him anyway.