Spring Summer may traditionally be the season of new beginnings, sunny dispositions and bright wardrobes, but for SS15 many designers had darker, more intriguing visions, matched with emotive, unexpected soundscapes. From Kate Bush to Sunn O))), Psychic TV to Cyndi Lauper and soundtracks from Rosemary's Baby and Female Trouble, designers dragged us into their world by the ears.
Producer and Pulp bassist Steve Mackey chose the fractious, narrative violin of Nadia Sirota to offset Marc Jacobs’ militaristic collection of khaki and navy tailoring, utilitarian 60s babydolls and 70s shirt dresses. Showgoers listened through headphones to instructions like "send the gap toothed girl with three bags around back" as the almost-anonymous models in black, heavy-fringed wigs marched around a giant, lurid pink suburban house.
Cult show music producer Frédéric Sanchez enlisted the heavy, imposing noise of American drone metal bands Sunn O))) and Earth to emphasise Rei Kawakubo's red mist vision of passion and rage. Slashed, multiplied and mutated, garments exploded like emotions from the body, and with such a low register, the soundtrack ensured that the show was not only seen but felt.
Riton’s mix for Thomas Tait cycled through strings, spacey electronic noise, layers of echoing industrial sounds and twisted disco and hip hop beats to complement the LVMH prize winning designer's eclectic SS15 collection. In a brutalist, concrete setting painted by visual artist Georges Rousse, Tait showed alien-inflected asymmetric dresses and sheer knitwear in acid brights and metallics with sculptural leather in red and putty.
Though the fashion industry flocked to Kate Bush'sBefore The Dawntour, the Céline show was perhaps one of the more unexpected places to find the theatrical songstress' influence. The emotional strains of "This Woman’s Work" looped throughout the SS15 collection, where Phoebe Philo's minimal, restrained elegance was interwoven with texture and bright, romantic florals.
Lo's unapologetically girlie collection of knitted gold mermaid and sequin octopus embellished dresses were soundtracked by his studio playlist of Blondie, The Spice Girls and Cyndi Lauper’s "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun". The candy-coloured teen beach scene was inspired by Sex in the City, which Lo says he loves because it's "cheesy, tacky and cliché".
Hedi Slimane's glittering 70s party girls stormed the rainbow-prism runway to a specially recorded, 18-minute version of “1, 2, 3” by Dutch electro pop duo Aleide. The heavy synths, breathy vocals and driving techno beat soundtracked a collection of sequined mini dresses, leather coats, clashing prints and metallic platform heels, loosely inspired by "paraphotographer" Robert Heinecken’s collages of advertising imagery spliced with pornography.
Gregorian chanting led people into the Miu Miu SS15 show, to be seated under temporary wooden arches that resembled the undercroft of an old church. But of course this is Miuccia Prada's strange church, so her 50s femme rebels in their pencil skirts, car coats and ruffle tops walked to the Shangri La's mournful but defiant spoken word piece "Past Present and Future", the urgent, punctuated noise of Moon Relay and the soundtrack to John Waters’ Female Trouble by Divine.
London producer and Rinse FM regular Faze Miyake created a bass-heavy, instrumental grime track for Nasir Mazhar's SS15 show, which we released as an exclusive download. Backstage, the designer told us he was "getting bored of everyone talking about sportswear and streetwear" and his futuristic, Middle East-inspired collection was matched perfectly by Miyake's genre-spanning mix.
Mia Farrow's haunting la la las from the Rosemary's Baby soundtrack set the pace for Altuzarra's tragic, cinematic beauties, who inspired us to chart cult horror’s iconic heroines. "Sinister and undone prettiness, ill-fated and doomed" was how the show notes described these dishevelled, romantic characters in their sweetly perverse gingham skirt suits and historically-inspired leather lattice dresses.