Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine and Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel

The music mix on the runway sets the mood. Here's some of what played during the season.

The music mix on the runway sets the mood. Here’s some of what played during the season.

— Tara Bonet-Black, Tina Baraga, Cynthia Martens and Katya Foreman


New York:

“We are the world.” That was the vibe at a number of shows in New York. Edun was inspired by Africa, Donna Karan by Haiti and Thakoon explored western sensibility mixing Ry Cooder & V.M. Bhatt’s “Ganges Delta Blues” and Jimi Hendrix’s “Cherokee Mist.” On another note, Oscar de la Renta offered the unexpected “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin, Led Zep’s “Kashmir” covered by Loch Lomond and “Run Like Hell” by Pink Floyd. L’Wren Scott had some help from boyfriend Mick Jagger in a debut of “One Day One Night” and “Energy” from his new band SuperHeavy.  Rodarte went Disney, closing the show with “Awakening” from the “Sleeping Beauty” soundtrack followed by Tchaikovsky’s “The Sleeping Beauty.” And Zero + Maria Cornejo featured tunes from her long-time employee Kat Lee’s band Ohnomoon. As for live performances, Cibo Matto performed three songs from the 1996 album “Viva! La Woman” at United Bamboo; Billy Reid enlisted singer-songwriters Shelly Colvin and Keegan DeWitt and a seven-piece ensemble for his presentation, which channeled an impromptu jam session; Rachelle Garniez played claviola and bells at Yeohlee, while at Nanette Lepore, singer Sam Bisbee and a six-piece band performed two songs composed especially for the show, along with a few of his own.


The Sixties and Seventies inspired many designers on London’s catwalks. Clements Ribeiro ended its show with The Lemonheads version of “Mrs. Robinson” while the crowd at Issa London was moving to different versions of “The Girl From Ipanema.” Mulberry’s quirky mood used mixed versions of “Singin’ in the Rain” with thunder and rain sound effects. Peter Jensen transported the crowd to the 18th century with a pianist playing Bach’s “Concerto” and “Prelude in C Major,” and E Tautz followed suit with a performance by composer and cellist Peter Gregson.


In Milan, designers paid musical homage to cinema. Dolce & Gabbana featured “Mambo Italiano” sung by Sophia Loren, Fendi laced its show with dialogue from the 1961 film “La Notte,” Gianfranco Ferré borrowed Goblin’s “Sleepwalking” from the 1985 Dario Argento movie “Creepers” and Bottega Veneta chose Alberto Iglesias’ “En el Calor de la Noche” from the recent Pedro Almodovar film “The Skin I Live In.” C’N’C Costume National went live with model-musician Sebastian Brice and his band, Avius.


Live performances stood out in Paris, notably Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine at Chanel. Vivienne Westwood enlisted 16-year-old pianist Kyle Nash-Baker, Hussein Chalayan had the CRB Chamber Choir and Viktor + Rolf went with French group Brigitte. Other designers opted for standout tracks such as Antony and the Johnsons’ version of John Lennon’s “Imagine” at Haider Ackermann, Van Halen’s “Runnin’ With the Devil” at Lanvin and “Suspira” by Goblin from the Dario Argento horror flick of the same name at Louis Vuitton. Meanwhile, rapper-producer—and now designer—Kanye West put together a mix of the Fugees, Michael Kiwanuka and Common for his runway  debut.

Top 20 Spring 2012 Collections Playlist for WWD.com:

“Don’t Play No Game That I Can’t Win” by Beastie Boys featuring Santigold (Betsey Johnson)
“Bang, Bang, Bang” by Mark Ronson & The Business Intl featuring Q-Tip and MNDR (Nicole Miller)
“Situation” by Yazoo, Hercules & Love Affair remix (Rebecca Taylor)
“Wicked Game” by Chris Isaac (Derek Lam)
“Bring the Noise” by Public Enemy, Pump-kin remix (Marc by Marc Jacobs)
“Rolling In the Deep” by Adele, Jamie xx remix (Michael Kors)
“Metronomy” by The Bay (Cynthia Rowley)
“Torso Corso” by Lizzy Mercier Desloux (Anna Sui)
“Slippin” by Quadron (Wes Gordon)
“Video Games” by Lana Del Rey (Emilio de la Morena)
“Rebel Rebel” by David Bowie, Matty C remix (Maria Grachvogel)
“Dancing With Myself” by Billy Idol (Tata Naka)
“Love Out of Lust” by Lykke Li (Osman)
“A Warm Place” by Nine Inch Nails (Valentino)
“Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off” by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong (Etro)
“William’s Blood” by Grace Jones (Salvatore Ferragamo)
“Dreams” by Deep Dish, featuring Stevie Nicks (Versace)
“Runnin’ With the Devil” by Van Halen (Lanvin)
“Set Fire to the Rain” by Adele (Christian Dior)
“Lola” by Maluca (Stella McCartney)

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