Wide-ranging soundtracks and live performances blanketed the runways across all four fashion cities, from classical to punk, groovy to jazzy, with a slew of original tunes, too.

In New York, Rag & Bone used a custom mix produced by friend Thom Yorke of Radiohead while Marc Jacobs opened with the Jaws theme followed by an instrumental fit for a horror flick that complemented the post-apocalyptic beach set. At a decidedly more upbeat beach, Tommy Hilfiger’s boardwalk runway, replete with sand dunes and surfboards, grooved to a soundtrack of The Beach Boys’ “Surfin’ U.S.A.,” “California Girls” and “Good Vibrations.”

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Among the live gigs, Natalia “Saw Lady” Paruz improvised at Yeohlee with a musical saw, Tibetan bells and wind chimes for a tranquil vibe; Grammy-nominated R&B/soul singer Alice Smith performed three songs from her latest album She at Michael Bastian, while soul revivalist Nick Waterhouse and his band sang five songs from his album Time’s All Gone at David Hart. Jesse Herrero of Cuban charanga orchestra SonSublime put together a three-piece band and played Cuban-inspired songs at Tracy Reese; jazz band The Recessionals did a Thirties-style set at Saunder, and at Y-3, five drummers played an original piece by Jiro Amimoto, which ended with designer Yohji Yamamoto jumping on a kit for an impromptu moment.

In London, designer Jean-Pierre Braganza collaborated on an original score with a former bandmate, and Anya Hindmarch’s music, produced by Silent Studios, sparked a planetarium vibe with aerial handbags inspired by weightlessness. Playing live were alt-rock band Wolf Alice at Todd Lynn and a classical ensemble at Erdem.

Milan’s interesting mix included a Trent Reznor playlist at Versace with four tunes by Nine Inch Nails and one from his other band, How to Destroy Angels. Fifties-style cha-cha and mambo rhythms set the mood at Dsquared2 with songs like “Mambo Caliente” by Mambo Kings. Two live spots: disco queen Gloria Gaynor celebrated Moschino’s 30th anniversary, and rising rap star Iggy Azalea sang at Philipp Plein.

Paris was an exercise in juxtaposition. Dior mixed techno beats with classical music; Véronique Leroy spliced German Punk with classical composer Igor Stravinsky; Valentino layered spoken word over Puccini, Verdi, Glass and others. Comme des Garçons gave each model her own tune on the runway—in some cases, it sounded like a tinny radio somewhere in a third-world country.

Live gigs included Radiohead bassist Colin Greenwood at Dries Van Noten, and The Hives front man Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist at Acne Studios’ show with an operatic performance based on the Swedish poem Till Havs (“Out to Sea”). Senegalese percussion ensemble Sing Sing Rhythms opened and closed Givenchy, Issey Miyake featured Japanese musician Ei Wada, performing under the name Braun Tube Jazz Band, who worked his magic on a lineup of old TVs using their electromagnetic properties to change light into sound by tapping the screens.


Top 10 Playlist


Million Dollar Bills by Lorde (Richard Chai)

Lounge Act by Nirvana (Helmut Lang)

She’s on Fire by King Tuff (Marc by Marc Jacobs)

Sunshine by Rye Rye featuring M.I.A. (Mulberry)

You Got Good Taste by The Cramps (Sister by Sibling)

Bring the Noize by M.I.A. (Henry Holland, Prada, Manish Arora)

I Want Candy by Bow Wow Wow (Razed in Black Remix) (Prada)

BBB (Big Black Boots) by How to Destroy Angels (Versace)

Picasso Baby by Jay Z (Chanel)

Get Like Me by Nelly featuring Nicki Minaj and Pharrell (Chloé)

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