There’s no question these days that the collections have truly become shows—of celebrity, spectacle and music. While it’s still exciting, it’s no longer surprising to see an iconic rock star or the chanteuse du jour playing on stage as models walk the runway. Hopefully, the performance is more often than not an accompaniment, not a distraction, to a designer’s collection.
In Rodnik’s case, the show is the collection. The designers behind the indie label save money by taking to the stage themselves and rocking out while backup singers and models saunter around dressed in Rodnik creations. This season, Philip Colbert and Richard Ascott performed at The Box in New York, where they sang their catchy-yet-strange tunes, including one called “Russian Firebird,” complete with choreographed arm movements.
The duo also played a few songs at a second presentation in London, while the string quartet Dirty Pretty Strings, comprising four beautiful girls, complemented the soft chiffon floral prints at Erdem’s collection.
In Paris, Hussein Chalayan sent his evolution-themed lineup down the catwalk to the tune of experimental French musical group OMMM, which sang a cappella tunes inspired by nature. Jean-Charles de Castelbajac turned to the French electro-rock duo Curry and Coco to provide an upbeat soundtrack to his show, and Robert Normand had the hip indie act Go Go Charlton during his collection.
But leave it to the Americans to hire the bigger, more famous acts. Consider Marc Jacobs’ choice to hire iconic punk band Sonic Youth to give a miniconcert during his show (see story, opposite). Showbiz legend Liza Minnelli (left) strutted her stuff at the Heart Truth Red Dress show and raised the roof with “New York, New York,” while songbird Regina Spektor (below) played her alt-folk tracks for the social crowd at Oscar de la Renta. “I listened to a recording of her live concert at Lollapalooza on YouTube,” de la Renta told WWD. “I thought she was really fantastic.”
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast