the seven best music-meets-fashion crossovers

Whether it’s mutual muses Ann Demeulemeester and Patti Smith’s dual collaborative collections or Jean Paul Gaultier’s ode to 80s pop stars, designers have never been afraid to crank up the volume both on and off the runway. Be it Raf Simons’ voyage...

by Emily Manning
27 February 2015, 3:30pm

Opening Ceremony x Spike Jonze x Sonic Youth/ Beastie Boys: For mens fall/winter 15, Opening Ceremony took a look back at Oscar-winning director Spike Jonze's early days as a photographer. Taking to the street armed with endless rolls of 35 mm Kodak film, Jonze spent the 90s documenting the rise of skate and BMX culture, as well as capturing Sonic Youth's tours and the Beastie Boys' break out video "Sabotage." Cracking open Jonze's photography archive, OC created photo-real prints and graphics treatments from sequenced shots of the no-wave legends and rap icons. Look closely and you'll see alterna-girl icon Kim Gordon, perhaps on set of the group's Jonze-directed 92 video for their single "100%," woven into the collection's thick sweaters, loose trousers, and chic trenchcoats.

Opening Ceremony Mens Fall/Winter 15. Image courtesy Black Frame

Raf Simons x Joy Division and New Order: Before he was name-checked in just about every rap song, Raf Simons was no stranger to seeking inspiration in musical subcultures. The Belgian national treasure's early collections explored the aesthetics of a variety of youth-driven musical movements, it's Raf's fall/winter 2003 collection that's perhaps his most musically minded. Simons was granted full access to the archives of Peter Saville, the designer responsible for Joy Division and New Order's now iconic album art. Simons' post-punk pieces, including a series of anoraks screened with Power, Corruption, and Lies and Closer covers, remain some of his most highly sought after and instantly recognizable.

Gucci x David Bowie: Smith and Demeulemeester weren't fall/winter 2006's only musical match made in heaven: that season also saw then Gucci creative director Frida Giannini paying tribute to glam rock icon David Bowie. "I was thinking of David Bowie and the way people played with their image to be something different every time they went out in the seventies," Giannini told of her Ziggy Stardust-eyed ladies. Gold, silk, and plenty of glitter dominated Gucci's runway, we're sure to the Starman's highest approval.

Ann Demeulemeester x Patti Smith: Dutch designer Ann Demeulemeester and godmother of punk Patti Smith aren't just BFFs, they're also longtime collaborators. Demeulemeester first tapped Smith for her spring/summer 2000 collection "Woolgathering," which borrows its name from one of Smith's short novels published back in 92. Demeulemeester embroidered excerpts of Smiths powerful prose-poetry hybrid piece onto delicate dresses and translucent tops, while models walked down the runway to the sounds of Smith reading from her moving text. Six years later, the dynamic duo teamed up again for fall/winter 2006 when a delightfully disheveled Smith hit the menswear runway toting a clarinet.

Saint Laurent x Joni Mitchell: No self-respecting roundup of fashion-music crossovers is complete without a nod to Hedi Slimane. Since assuming creative control of Saint Laurent Paris in 2006, the former Dior Homme designer has enlisted countless rockstars like twin LA punk pinups The Garden and Sunflower Bean teen dream Julia Cumming to rep the refreshed brand both on and off the runway, his most recent campaign with 71-year-old folk legend and certified style icon Joni Mitchell is by far his crowning achievement. Mitchell's wardrobe staples--free flowing full length dresses and layers of statement necklaces--are certainly sources of inspirations for the house's womenswear collections. Like Celine's Joan Didion-fronted campaign, it's cool to see Slimane showing some love to the real OG.

Saint Laurent spring/summer 15 by Hedi Slimane

Jean Paul Gaultier x 80s pop stars: It's no secret that JPG loves a good runway spectacle, and the master showman's spring/summer 2013 collection was certainly no exception. An "homage to all the pop stars of the 80s who have influenced fashion and my fashion with their look", as his show notes explained, the enfant terrible's show saw Jourdan Dunn and Joan Smalls as Sade, Hannelore Knuts as Annie Lennox, Karlie Kloss and Liu Wen as Boy George, and Jessica Stam as Madonna among countless other models and musical icons.

Anna Sui x Nirvana: Marc Jacobs might be the godfather of runway grunge, but back in 94, Anna Sui had her turn bringing a slice Seattle to NYFW. "I'd just seen Nirvana in concert and I remember thinking to myself that grunge was still the most vital force in fashion, at least on the street," Sui told author Andrew Bolton in her 2010 monograph. Sui reinterpreted Kurt Cobain's style on the runway, including his penchant for performing in pajamas and even the occasional vintage dress. 


Text Emily Manning

Opening Ceremony
Saint Laurent
Jean Paul Gaultier
Raf Simons
anne demeulemeester