Music has always played a pivotal part in Tommy Hilfiger's design process, but rhythms also works as an integral inspiration source for the brand. This was evident in his indie preppy A/W11 menswear show in New York earlier this year, but it's also hammered home by this classic Tommy Hilfiger quote: "If it wasn't for rock 'n' roll I would never have been a designer". Hilfiger Denim, his casual everyday-wardrobe line, very much operates after the same rock modus operanti as its older mainline sibling. Tommy's dedication to merge the stylish Hilfiger aesthetic with the more music-led streetwear of the 'Kids of America' generation is obvious when attending the annual Hilfiger Denim Live events in and around Europe.
Starting off close to Hilfiger's Amsterdam HQ, the one-day festival this year boasted a wide array of young and fresh music talent, but also took in bloggers and club promoters to show the brand's complete understanding of how young people today consume music and culture. Headlined by NYC DJ duo Holy Ghost!, last week's all-nighter at Amsterdam's premier night club Paradiso, also offered two young, energetic and opinionated stage personas in Lissy Trullie and Sky Ferreira. DJ and producer Tommie Sunshine brought a sense of experience to the proceedings when he, with his waist long hair, rocked the crowd from the early stages of the night into a frenzy.
Interspersed by local Dutch talents, it was the intimate settings of Paradiso's second room and Lissy Truliie's stripped-down band that impressed. With a calm and cool look, the singer-songwriter presented her downtown NYC mystique accompanied by only a bass guitar and drums. Her own material and a Hot Chip cover got the audience going as Trulle handed over to 18-year-old firebrand Sky Ferreira. The former actress might only have been supported by pre-recorded tracks but she raised the temperature in the room distinctivly through her infectious pop disco, perfectly making room for Holy Ghost! and in a live band format. The DFA boys rocked the crowd long into the night, making sure that all those outifts that came acorss as fresh and newly pressed in the early stages of the night had a distinct Hilfger Denim Live look to them when leaving at four in the morning...
Dazed Digital: How and when did you meet?
Holy Ghost!: We met in elementary school, aged six and seven years old, respectively...
DD: Describe the transformation from DJ act to live band?
Holy Ghost!: Arduous, scary and rewarding!
DD: Compare the new album to previous releases?
Holy Ghost!: Shorter songs, tighter arrangements. No DJ tools - no long intros and outros for mixing - more just an album to put on at home or in the car and have a little wiggle to. maybe a shimmy.
DD: Why is DFA such a good fit for Holy Ghost?
Holy Ghost!: Should you not be asking why is Holy Ghost! is such a good fit for DFA!? That doesn't even make sense, does it? Um, because we're super involved in every aspect of our careers and DFA let's their artists be that way. And because DFA is awesome. And because they have good coffee!
DD: How did the Amsterdam go - any highlights?
Holy Ghost!: Um. Chris got a beer thrown at him on stage? is that a highlight? no, it was fun, great group of people singing along in the front was nice.
DD: What's your relationship with Tommy Hilfiger?
Holy Ghost!: We're on again, off again, hot and cold, but highly passionate lovers.