A killer soundtrack has the ability to transform something good into to something ground-breaking. Each season, runway soundtracks are meticulously selected to highlight the themes of a collection – or even to contradict them. They are essential to shaping the show itself. In the aftermath of AW15 womenswear, we’ve sifted through every runway soundtrack to bring you the season's finest. Headphones in, let's go.
This season, Louis Vuitton’s gang of girls marched down the runway with bubblegum-pink hair, fluffy teddy bear coats and shaved heads to the chunky synth bass line and tinkling falsetto of Grimes’ digi-pop classic “Genesis”. It was a show that ripped up our assumptions of the ‘traditional’ Vuitton girl – so the Dazed cover girl was a fitting choice.
DIOR / THROBBING GRISTLE – “HOT ON THE HEELS OF LOVE”
“The idea of animals and an abstraction of their patterns became key; none of them literal, more the invention of a new species,” said Raf Simons in the press notes at Dior AW15. And who better to soundtrack this glimmering new species than industrial originals Throbbing Gristle, whose stabbing synth and warped textures gave a uniquely fierce quality to this animalistic collection.
Serial collaborator Dev Hynes served up some saxophone-soaked, keyboard free styling for the blissful, 70s-style ‘happening’ from NYC’s downtown label Eckhaus Latta. The soundscape was crafted especially for the show, and combined Hynes’ funk-injected rhythms with a choir of girls, including the distinctive Gwen-tonations of Friends’ Samantha Urbani. “What they try and do with fabrics is kind of what I do musically,” Hynes told Dazed after the show. “It wasn’t a stretch for me.”
COMME DES GARÇONS / MAX RICHTER – “ON THE DAYLIGHT OF NATURE”
For Rei Kawakubo’s gorgeously funereal “ceremony of separation”, she enlisted collaborator Frédéric Sanchez to mix the rich, sweeping orchestral sounds of Max Richter’s 2004 track “On The Daylight of Nature”, where the harmonious strings ebb and swell to a crescendo, mirroring the swathes of lace and ghostly black and white sculpturing of her monumental collection. Comme des Garçons shows are always affecting, and this was threaded through with emotional turmoil.
MIU MIU / SIGUE SIGUE SPUTNIK – “LOVE MISSILE F1-11”
Sigue Sigue Sputnik’s vivacious brand of new wave, once described as: “Hi-tech sex, designer violence, and the fifth generation of rock 'n' roll” was probably the most ridiculous thing to have been flung out of the mid-eighties. Put it on the runway at this season’s Miu Miu show, however, and cyborg conception transforms into an eclectic electro-punk masterpiece in front of our very eyes. Such is the power of Miuccia Prada, of course.
PHILIPP PLEIN / AZEALIA BANKS – “HEAVY METAL AND REFLECTIVE”
“I be getting several you be zero bet you pressed bitch/I be looking very heavy metal and reflective” spat Azealia over abrasive, buzzwire beats and agitated synth patterns, as she stalked her way round Philipp Plein’s neon-soaked roller-coaster catwalk in luminous, lit-up trainers. It was a brilliantly apt, hyperactive soundtrack to Plein’s super luxe sportwear collection.
This season, Gareth Pugh sent an army of blood-smeared warriors down the runway in a statement of revolution and sacrifice. To accompany this gothic vision, he recruited long-time collaborator Matthew Stone, who crafted this soundscape of warped football chants and throbbing distortion. “Over the years, I think that we've developed a language with the music that we’ve made,” Stone explained backstage. “I think it’s a very good way of understanding his work, because it’s this big vision, and it’s otherworldly; it is Gareth’s world, and the music has to reflect that.”
Who better to soundtrack the eclectic cartoon maximalism of Jeremy Scott’s AW15 collection for Moschino than pop culture visionary Malcolm McLaren, who also possessed that enviable ability to turn trash into treasure? For this 1984 track, he cut-n-pasted the Giacomo Puccini opera of the same name and transformed it into this silky electro-R&B banger.
“Not your toys, silly boys,” drawls singer Grog Prebble of the cult 90s band over sparse, circular guitars riffs, and snarling drumbeats in “Pretty Boy”, a track that encapsulated the fierce female punk spirit of Hedi Slimane’s AW15 collection for Saint Laurent, as the models stomped down the runway. The track was written and recorded in Paris exclusively for the show.
For the Stepford Wives “synthetic fantasia” of Prada's AW15 womenswear collection, the designer enlisted Frédéric Sanchez to rework the haunting, subdued tones of Belgian Jazz singer Melanie De Biasio, whose dark atmospherics and bruised lyricism lent a heartfelt edge, subverting the glassy synthetics and petri-dish prettiness that glided down the runway.