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If the music at London Fashion Week proved anything, it’s that the Nineties are back. Stepping into the tents felt like a trip through time, with grunge rock booming from speakers, serving as a reminder of a more flush era.
Christopher Kane played only the soundtrack from 1994’s cult film “Natural Born Killers,” and Noir/Bllack Noir chose Hole’s “Celebrity Skin.” Basso & Brooke stayed true to its quirky, unconventional style with a string quartet version of “Enter Sandman” by Metallica.
Other fashion houses reached further back in time, tapping into the Eighties and even the Fifties and Sixties. Todd Lynn opted for an upbeat vibe, playing George Michael’s “Faith,” while Twenty8Twelve had socialites and editors dancing to Prince. Songs by Patti Smith and Nico entertained the troops at Margaret Howell, who closed her show with Steam’s 1960 crowd-pleaser “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye.”
Some younger brands chose not to follow the nostalgia path, however. The Topshop label mixed Tricky Disco with MGMT, while Henry Holland snagged New York DJ trio the Misshapes for his House of Holland show. Danielle Scutt chose to honor this season’s most ubiquitous front-row face — Kanye West — by opening her show with his monster single “Flashing Lights.”
Elsewhere, Paul Smith’s models glided down the runway to carousel-like music, while Graeme Black took a conceptual turn with “The Secret Agent” and “Emigrations” by Philip Glass. Live performances stole the show at Erdem and Ashish, with the kooky French quartet Oh La La and young Londoner VV Brown, respectively.
But not every audio experience this season was a pleasant one. Giles Deacon piped in music from the band An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump. Attendees griped that the Gothic, post-Punk, all-girl trio with satanic tendencies was just a little too loud and angry for a Monday evening in a former dairy.
“Struggle for Pleasure” by Wim Mertens (Graeme Black)
“Horse and I” by Bat for Lashes (Kinder Aggugini)
“Walking on a Dream” by Empire of the Sun (Topshop Unique)
“M79” by Vampire Weekend (Peter Jensen)
“Eisbär” by Grauzone (PPQ)
“Buttons (CSS Remix)” by Sia (Peter Jensen)
“In for the Kill” by La Roux (House of Holland)
“The Blue Wrath” by I Monster (Peter Jensen)
“Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye” by Steam (Margaret Howell)
“Swiss Glide” by Michna (Paul Smith)
“Sweet Child o’ Mine” by Vitamin String Quartet (Basso & Brooke)