When ladies in 12'' Louboutins start slapboxing over cabs throughout New York City, you know it's gotta be fashion week! Hands down, "SexyBack" was this year's catwalk soundtrack of choice, and while we love that one as much as the next carbon-based life form (TAKE EM TO THE CHOORRRRRUSSS), we still decided to ask a bunch of our favorite designers what music was marinating in the studio as they were making this year's collections. Hint: t'was not Justin. Read up on your dress ups after the jump.
Prince, Around the World in a Day
When I was working on my fall/winter collection I was listening to Prince around the clock and also The Family, which was produced by him too. It became a complete obsession after I heard the extended mix of "America" - which was actually the music I used for my show, off an old Ron Hardy mix from the Music Box. I must have about seven different 12"s of that record from all over the world. I got one in Tokyo, London, New York and even Brazil! It's from the album Around the World in a Day, which is not only great musically but the artwork is amazing too. It's a painted gatefold sleeve which was then broken up for all the covers of the singles, including "Poplife," "Raspberry Beret" and "America." I also did a short film to "Poplife" with Will Davidson, and it's another of my all time favorites. I love the extended versions on His Majesty's "Poplife," which is a 12" double pack from Japan.
Harry McNally, Bobby Waltzer, and Nick Poe, Pegleg NYC
Neil Young, Trans
Perhaps the most unexpected body of work Neil Young has produced to date, Trans was baffling and upsetting to many of his devout fans. It's heavily armed with an electronic sound, five of the nine tracks being computer generated (Neil discovered that when using a synthesizer to communicate with his autistic son he was able to elicit a fascinating response). This album has clearly had a similar effect on us - it sounds like it was produced by Stephen Hawking, Bill Gates, and E.T. Tracks like "Computer Cowboy," "Transformer Man," and "Computer Age," can’t help but make us feel thugged out while flexing our hot keys.
Nicholas Kratochvil, Bblessing
I first heard this album a few years ago while I was driving home from a shit summer job at a uniform store in New Orleans. I was drinking a shake during the ride and the college radio station played “Rocket USA." I was awestruck—completely overwhelmed by the nihilistic energy in Alan Vega’s voice and the hypnotizing powers of Martin Rev’s electronics and that never-ending drum machine. I was so lost and empowered by the sound that I spat my shake out all over my work uniform as a defiant salute to the band’s message, and I never returned to that job. This album was in constant rotation while I worked on the fall season, I wanted to mirror their stripped-down approach of doing more with less in my designs, one of which I feel is evocative of this album’s cover.
Jeff Halmos, John Whitledge, Sam Shipley, and Josia Lamberto-Egan, Trovata
Henri Mancini, The Platinum and Gold Collection
He’s the master of kooky, the maker of nutty, he’s Henri Mancini! Not to be confused with Henri Macaroni, no no. His musical tastes vary erratically across the melodic map. One part deep and dark, the next light and airy, but rest assured there’s an oboe and a French horn somewhere in the mix. His music inspired our creations in the same way the Pink Panther inspired a generation of trenchcoated, ambiguous French detectives. Mancini embodies the word “soundtrack” as Trovata embodies the word “saucy."
Takahiro Miyashita, Number (N)ine
The Pogues, Rum Sodomy and the Lash
The Pogues, If I Should Fall From Grace With God
I saw a video performance by the Pogues just before starting to design this fall collection. Their music from the 80's said Irish to me. I was ready to take Number (N)ine in a new direction and this felt right for the time. I wanted to pursue the fundamental style of mens jackets, shirts, neckties and pants, and to clothe people in classic, crisp fashion through formalwear, which I associate and love about old Irish culture and clothing. Jackets and coats are a focal point of this collection and they are embellished with argyle hand stitching and Celtic cording. I have also included clover patches on all the elbows of our jackets.
HH, Nom de Guerre
Echo and the Bunnymen, Ocean Rain
I grew up sailing, and I have a distinct memory of having the title track on my walkman during a storm in the Gulf Stream. The song started at the same time as the rain. Ever since that day, I get the same overwhelming feeling - a sense of freedom mixed with self-sufficiency - whenever I listen to this album. It always makes me want to get away from everything.
DT, Nom de Guerre
Blondie, Parallel Lines
My parents enforced a strict rock music ban when I was growing up. Other than classical music, this is one of the only albums that somehow escaped the ban. The songs, the black suits and ties, the dirty, mis-matched Converse sneakers all left an indelible impression on me.
Robert Geller, Harald Design (formerly of Cloak)
Coco Rosie, La Maison de mon Reve
This is an album that I can’t let go of. I feel like I should be sick of it by now, but it’s moody in just the right way for me, and I keep playing it. La Maison has this sort of foggy, dreamy feel to it that I like to incorporate into my spring collections. I design spring on a misty day in the country, rather than a sunny one on the beach. This album really fits the mood. It also has this rawness that I love. I think it was recorded in the bathroom of their apartment in Paris and it is scratchy and you can hear things that a studio production would edit out. It is like the really early Cure albums that are so good.
The Beatles, A Hard Day's Night
For me, music always triggers an instant visual. With A Hard Day's Night, you instantly think how iconic and relevant The Beatles are, so inseperable from modern times. The title track and "Can't Buy Me Love" accompanied the two most memorable and animated and dynamic scenes from the movie. The tempo and energy are both timely and timeless and really invigorated my fall collection to dare to create something equally dynamic and graphic. Plus Ringo is my favorite.