What fashion sounds like

Karl Lagerfeld. Daft Punk fan.

Karl Lagerfeld. Daft Punk fan. Photo: Kristy Sparow

What songs do designers choose at karaoke? Do they forgo classics such as Rihanna and “Total Eclipse” in favour of something impossibly trendy? And what’s even trendy at the moment? With music on the runway second only in importance to clothes, we need only look to their Spring/Summer 2013 shows to find out ...


French robo-duo Daft Punk created the soundtrack for Hedi Slimane’s Saint Laurent debut. The playlist dips into the archives and borrows from the past, featuring tunes by late blues musician Junior Kimbrough remixed for the occasion. You can listen to the full album here.

Chromatics also soundtracked their first catwalk show, invited by Karl Lagerfeld to create the score for Chanel and perform it live. The Johnny Jewel mix, played to slowly-spinning wind turbines and metallic-clad models created the greatest example of fashion and music intersecting since Yeezy rapping about Anja Rubik. Their cover of Neil Young’s “Into The Black” also featured at 3.1 Phillip Lim’s show in New York.



Henry Holland’s Spring 2013 show ‘Buzz Kill’ drew his brat pack following of young, snotty-nosed kids to the front row, from Alexa Chung and Leigh Lezark to Kelly Osbourne and Pixie Geldof. The soundtrack, coincidentally, was also born in the nineties, featuring Dee-Lite’s “Groove is in the Heart”, Shampoo’s “Uh Oh! We’re in Trouble” and 2 Unlimited’s “No Limit”.


Riccardo Tisci harked back to his Catholic school roots with Givenchy’s Spring 2013 collection. Drawing from the fashion house’s 60s archives, he took ruffles and luxe materials like taffeta and duchesse satin and sculpted them into forms that resembled nun’s habits.

To add to the church vibe, Tomaso Albioni’s eighteenth-century “Adagio in G Minor” was played by Mathias Lecomte on a giant organ in the centre of the runway, while DJ Disodromo added a pulsing techno beat to the mix. Sampling from the past while remaining thoroughly contemporary is, after all, Tisci’s specialty.


Classical music also added to the dark romance at Jason Wu. The lilting piano of Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” made the perfect accompaniment to the designer’s collection of lingerie-esque camisoles and lace bustiers.


This season, designers mined countdowns from decades past, from Blondie’s “Heart of Glass” at BCBG Max Azria to The Beach Boys soundtrack at Rochas. There were also totally modern, delightfully twee tunes on rotation, including “Sidewalk Safari” by Chairlift at Charlotte Ronson and “Losing My Mind” by Brit duo Summer Camp at Catherine Malandrino.

And taking off where K-pop left us is Arab pop (or ‘A-pop’ if you will). Jeremy Scott’s Arab Spring 2013 collection, featuring gun-emblazoned tops and glittering leopard print burkas crowned with crocodile-skin baseball caps, may not have been 100% politically correct, but the soundtrack was certainly spot on. Think Aaliyah’s “Try Again” and Missy Elliot’s “Get Ur Freak On” mashed up with Jay-Z x Panjabi MC and hypnotizing A-pop beats by Abdel Halim Hafez, the artist famously ripped off by Timbaland.