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Defining Moments: Live Wires

There's no question these days that the collections have truly become shows?of celebrity, spectacle and music.

Appeared In
Special Issue
WWD Collections issue 04/07/2008

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.”