Dancing Down the Catwalk

Words by: Cila Warncke
Posted: 8/12/11 10:52

Dancing Down the CatwalkFrom the flourishing flares of disco to Boy George DJing at the Ministry of Sound, via the Eurythmics and Madonna’s conical bras, electronic music and fashion have gone hand in sequinned glove.

The extent to which DJs and artists appreciate the fine art of design has been extensively documented with  I Voice’s Golden Rules of Style but what about the reverse relationship? What music sets fashionista pulses pounding? How better to find out than by looking to the catwalk. Fashion designers throw their creative heart and soul into creating the ultimate expression of their personality and vision.

Clothes are the heart of a catwalk show but every detail counts: lights, props, celebrity guests and – most of all – music. Electronic music provides the perfect beats for models to strut and sway to, and creates the energy of the show: dreamy, sexy, thrilling, or daring.

As a result fashion has a Balearic vibe, with dance acts like Hercules & Love Affair sharing airspace with Bob Dylan and The Verve. Not surprisingly, fashion has its own musical celebrities: two maestros of the catwalk are Frenchmen Michel Gaubert who says he has “more records than Karl Lagerfeld” (Read here...) and Fredric Sanchez (Read here...) who makes composes electronica for the likes of Marc Jacobs, John Galliano and Miu Miu.

Here is the I Voice guide to the hottest tunes current on the catwalk…

Designer: Philip Lim
Song: She Is Danger -  Who's That Girl

This cover of the Eurythmics’ classic Who’s That Girl is pure fashion magic. It has the pedigree of being from one of the most visually iconic pop bands in history – who can forget Annie Lennox’s glacial beauty and striking voice? – and She Is Danger rework it into a gloriously downbeat, Portishead-esque pop hymn rippling with loss and warped basslines.
Designer: Diane von Furstenberg
Song: Cut Copy - Need You Now

Aussie electro poppers Cut Copy marry a propulsive four-four beat and shimmery synths to a heartfelt ‘Joshua Tree’-era U2 vocal on this feel-good anthem that fairly bursts with the love of life. The stadium chorus is custom built to tug both heart-strings and purse-strings.
Designer: Alexander Wang
Song: Prodigy - Breathe

It is no surprise that edgy, achingly hip young designer Alexander Wang chose the Prodigy’s thunderous rave anthem Breathe to help soundtrack his fashion show. Its dark, visceral spirit provides the perfect counterpoint to Wang’s fierce fashion.
Designer: various
Song: LCD Soundsystem -  I Can Change

You wouldn’t necessarily pinpoint pleasantly scruffy artist James Murphy as the go-to man for the fashion world, but his deliciously pensive I Can Change made multiple show appearances. Perhaps the title is a tongue-in-cheek reminder to models to get their kit on (or off) or maybe it’s just so nice they couldn’t keep it out of the record box.
Designer: Christian Dior
Artist: Justice

In 2009 Galliano channelled the spirit of a night spent snorting coke in a damp Parisian basement into a show where black-clad boys strutted along the catwalk to Justice’s strident electro-goth beats.
Designer: Bottega Veneta
Song: Thomas Lindstrom ft Christabelle - Lovesick

A potent combination of deep bass, nu-disco space dust and a breathy post-soul vocal that reeks of sex, this is the sort of record that helps sell clothes by making its listeners want to take theirs off. Lovesick carries itself with such swagger that is quite capable of turning a fashion show into a rave.
Designer: Diane Von Furstenberg
Song: DJ Sneak - Drums Are Us

A minimal-tribal epic, Drums Are Us uses the bare musical essentials to create a deep, sensuous record that works it harder than Eva Herzegovina in stilettos. The late-90s club feel adds a suitably retro vibe – turn the lights down and you can practically smell the poppers.
Designer: Alice + Olivia
Song: The Rapture - How Deep Is Your Love

The Rapture shot to fame on the strength of hit single House of Jealous Lovers and this trebly, electro-indie sing-along with a chorus that sounds worryingly as if it were borrowed from Cisco’s Thong Song doesn’t quite match up. But its mix of plinky piano, handclaps and chutzpah is more than enough to make it ironically endearing.
Designer: Christian Dior
Song: U2 - Magnificent (Fred Falke Radio Edit)

Dior quality control went to hell this year, as evidenced by the move from the sexy-gritty sound of Justice in 2009 to the pomp-rock warbling of Bono for the 2011 menswear show. There is no excuse for inflicting this limp-as-a-dishrag mix on the general public.


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