Fashion and music movers are humming the same song
by: Victor Basa (The Philippine Star) Updated October 21, 2011 12:00 AM
MANILA, Philippines – It’s an affair that’s lasted through the ages. The current relationship of fashion and music is stronger than ever, just like those real life on-screen love teams but without the tabloids or shocking news reports about breakups and third parties. It’s an interdependent relationship, and it is mutual admiration at its most unmistakable. Together, they can create imagery that shapes movements and kickstarts trends that can transcend into classics. Take, for instance, the decade-long resurgence of slim-cut suits, nobody else could have started that except for Hedi Slimane. (There are a few arguments on whether Helmut Lang came first.) But it was Karl Lagerfeld who dubbed Slimane’s work as “pure genius” and even lost a substantial amount of weight just to wear his stuff. It’s a prime example of how trends can transcend and eventually find their way into one’s wardrobe. His exit from Dior Homme shocked many. He then decided to focus on photography — coincidentally his images mostly feature musicians, exploring aspects of fleeting youth and festival outtakes.
We all know how closely intertwined, hand-in-hand, symbiotic, and downright chummy fashion and music are. You cannot deny the facts (complete with pictures) of those seated (or standing, i.e: Balenciaga S/S 2012 show) at the major shows’ front rows of the various Fashion Weeks. In Paris, we have Kylie Minogue at Yves Saint Laurent, and Ciara at Givenchy (which has the starriest rows of the week, Jared Leto included). In London, you have Peaches Geldof sitting front row at Sass & Bide, and of course we have Beyoncé present at the House of Dereon (she’s the company’s figurehead). The list goes on.
We can even go from runway to print with the unending number of musicians who are, or have been, on the covers of the more famous fashion magazines. Just this month we have Lady Gaga baring all for Harper’s Bazaar, Adele on the cover of British Vogue (followed by Rihanna in November). It seems every time I see a monthly or quarterly with a musician on it, I imagine that the people behind it are humming the same song “entice the buyer, connect with their sensibilities and be current” then they offer buzz-worthy band remixes of said tunes. Of course I’m only guessing, who knows what those clever magazine people have up their sleeves?
Music itself has such a strong influence when it comes to people making personal choices on what brand/s to buy. Brands closely associate themselves with genres and various artists (if even just for an isolated campaign) hoping to inherit or increase their credibility among their potential and existing clientele (and perhaps a few or many aspirational hopefuls).
One noteworthy personality who has been commissioned before by French luxury powerhouse Louis Vuitton isn’t too keen on just sitting by and letting all the action happen without him. Getting up off of his front row seat, Kanye West recently launched his women’s wear collection dubbed “Dw by Kanye West” (Dw stands for Donda West, his late mother) I can only imagine and wait in anticipation now that a much-sought menswear line is well under way. In spite of all of his detractors, you cannot deny the impact he has made in hip-hop’s choice of staples. (T-shirt exodus, and venturing into sometimes dangerously dandy territory.)
Lady Gaga sees viral marketing opportunity very clearly and collaborates with top designers and artists alike to fulfill certain specific visions she has that are perfectly ripe for social media and the mainstream press. Designer Alexander McQueen and English artist Damien Hirst (infamous for his animals, mostly huge, preserved in formaldehyde) are just a couple of names on her illustrious list of successful fraternization. I’m sure most people are at least very familiar with the imagery that Gaga co-creates even if they aren’t so well-versed with the exact designers or artists. Meanwhile nobody can deny Justin Bieber’s influence on how tweens and some young adults dress. He singlehandedly brought throngs of high-top Supra-wearing kids, complete with colored hoodies and flat-billed, fitted baseball caps. I can still remember my nephew’s requests for “limited-edition dunks” when I asked him if he wanted to check out a toy store. This alone shows the impact music has on people’s choice of clothes. Kids want to look like their idols. This fact hardly ever changes. Fast-forward to years from high school and it’s still the same, music is still as particular to an individual as it’s ever been.