Live music upped the ante for runway production values this season.
Fashion show or rock concert? This season, a handful of designers did away with prerecorded soundtracks and DJs and set their collections to live music, ranging from the soft and melodious to the loud and raucous. Oscar de la Renta, whose show took place inside a former church, booked The Polyphonic Spree, a 23-person symphonic rock collective that resembled a chorus of hipster angels. Dries Van Noten hired the Bamboo Orchestra to pound out traditional Indonesian rhythms, while Trovata had both bongo drums and former Jane’s Addiction lead singer Perry Farrell at the mic. Adding a more lyrical touch was French popstress Micky Green, who serenaded the audience at Vanessa Bruno (and then became a hot attraction offstage at Chanel as Karl Lagerfeld escorted her through the frenzy).
Some bands transformed into models, such as Brit rockers Sister, who wore Luella Bartley’s geek-chic designs as they entertained on her catwalk. And then some designers transformed into bands. Rodnik’s Richard Ascott and Philip Colbert morphed into a rock group and played to a crowd of scenesters following their London presentation (the next stops on their tour: 10 Corso Como in Milan and Maxfield in Los Angeles, of course).
Prince started singing before his bum even left his front-row perch at Matthew Williamson. He quietly crooned in his seat, then hopped up onstage, where a small band had been assembled; strapped on his guitar, and played “Chelsea Rodgers,” named after his eponymous muse—who also happens to be a friend of Williamson’s and was a model in the show.
“The whole thing was so bizarre,” said Williamson. “It was only when Prince arrived at the tent that I started to calm down.” Those who missed the spectacle need not fret—the footage from the performance (which Prince did free of charge in honor of Williamson’s 10th year in business) will be used in the artist’s upcoming music video for the tune.
“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