A Mus­ing

ETER­NAL FLAME De­sign­ers for whom mu­sic is a con­stant source of in­spi­ra­tion

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Idn­spi­ra­tion can come in, and take, all forms. It can be a one-off dal­liance, like how the chance en­counter be­tween Jane Birkin and Her­mes’ Jean-Louis Du­mas led to the cre­ation of the Birkin bag. Or it can be a multi-sea­sonal af­fair, with Maria Grazia Chi­uri ex­plor­ing the tenets of fem­i­nism at Dior. Or it can be a re­la­tion­ship that lasts a life­time—as is the case for the de­sign­ers be­low when it comes to one of the most pow­er­ful, per­va­sive and per­pet­ual sources of in­spi­ra­tion: Mu­sic.


To­gether with Sex Pis­tols man­ager Mal­colm McLaren, Dame West­wood en­gi­neered the ’70s punk phe­nom­e­non, a rev­o­lu­tion that was based upon equal parts aes­thet­ics and sound: Fetish-wear cloth­ing and ag­gres­sive mu­sic that worked hand-in-hand to shock and tit­il­late the senses. Post-punk,West­wood and McLaren’s “Pi­rates” col­lec­tion, along­side the rise of mu­si­cians like Adam Ant and Span­dau Bal­let, was piv­otal to the New Ro­man­tic move­ment.


Till to­day, one of the most iconic in­stances of mu­sic and fash­ion col­lid­ing was when Naomi, Cindy, Linda and Christy sang along to “Free­dom! ’90” while clos­ing Ver­sace’s fall/win­ter 1991 show. It was a mo­ment dreamed up by Gianni, who also en­listed the likes of El­ton John and Madonna to cre­ate mu­sic for his shows and star in his cam­paigns.The tra­di­tion lives on with Donatella, be it by play­ing never-be­fore-heard tracks by Prince at Ver­sace’s men’s spring 2017 show as a post­hu­mous trib­ute; work­ing with M.I.A and Zayn Ma­lik on cap­sule col­lec­tions for Ver­sus; or be­ing namechecked in songs by Bruno Mars, Lady Gaga and Mi­gos.


Based in Los Angeles since 2008, Sli­mane has cre­ated stagewear for David Bowie, Daft Punk and other ma­jor mu­si­cians; and is deeply im­mersed in Cal­i­for­nia’s al­ter­na­tive mu­sic scene, pho­tograph­ing in­die rock­ers for books and ex­hi­bi­tions, and en­gag­ing them to ap­pear in cam­paigns, ed­i­to­ri­als and shows. Sli­mane’s sig­na­ture brand of rock ’n’ roll-meets-grit and glam­our in­fused his col­lec­tions at Dior Homme (skinny sil­hou­ettes with Pete Do­herty as his muse) and Saint Lau­rent (Coachella-wor­thy en­sem­bles with Court­ney Love, Joni Mitchell and more for in­spi­ra­tion), and is al­most guar­an­teed to be present in his up­com­ing work at Céline.


Ask any menswear and/or streetwear en­thu­si­ast to name their favourite de­signer, and there’s a very high chance that Si­mons will be on the list.The Bel­gian de­signer of­ten looks to youth cul­ture through the lens of mu­sic, most f amously through his col­lab­o­ra­tions (from his cult fall/win­ter 2003 col­lec­tion to spring/sum­mer 2018) with Peter Sav­ille, whose al­bum cov­ers for Joy Di­vi­sion and New Or­der in­spired him as a teen.“The whole ex­is­tence be­sides school was built up around mu­sic,” he said in an in­ter­view with

032c mag­a­zine. Si­mons, too, is no stranger to song ded­i­ca­tions. Just ask A$AP Rocky, whose song “Raf ”re­peats the lyrics,“Please don’t touch my Raf ”, and sees Rocky don­ning mul­ti­ple archival items from Si­mons’ past col­lec­tions in the mu­sic video.


As Cre­ative Direc­tor at Kanye West’s cre­ative agency, Donda, Abloh earned a Grammy nom­i­na­tion for his art di­rec­tion of Watch the Throne, West’s al­bum with Jay-Z, in 2011. Now, on top of cre­at­ing streetwear-meets-high fash­ion col­lec­tions for Off-White and Louis Vuit­ton, and col­lab­o­rat­ing with brands from IKEA to Ri­mowa, Abloh has kept busy on the mu­sic front. In 2018 alone, he has per­formed at Lol­la­palooza as DJ Flat White; re­leased his first of­fi­cial song,“Orvnge”, with Boys Noize; and launched an Ap­ple Mu­sic Beats 1 ra­dio show, recorded in the LouisVuit­ton ate­lier in Paris. ■

From top: Mu­si­cians from Beck to Justin Bieber and Joan Jett sit­ting front row at Hedi Sli­mane’s fall 2016 Saint Lau­rent show at the Pal­la­dium con­cert hall in Los Angeles. Lady Gaga with Donatella Ver­sace. Hedi Sli­mane. Vivi­enne West­wood. Raf Si­mons. Vir­gil Abloh with Kanye West

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