fashion insiders’ favourite music videos: simon foxton
In an ongoing series of regular interviews, i-D invites our music-loving fashion friends to select and dissect their ultimate inspirational pop videos.
One of i-D's all-time favourite menswear stylists, the ever-influential Simon Foxton has remained at the top of his profession since way back in the 80s. Shooting frisky fellas' fashions for the most glossy style mags around, working creatively with brands throughout the years including Levi's or Nike (as well as his ongoing collaborations with Stone Island), tutoring design students at the Royal College of Art and running the creative partnership &Son, along with Nick Griffiths, Mr Foxton is a very busy man indeed.
He's also a lifelong music enthusiast who recognises a good tune when he hears one, not to mention a suitably eye-poking pop video when he sees one. Such as Keep It Goin' Louder by Major Lazer, for example, released in 2009.
Featuring a motorbiking girl gang quite like no other, the video is comical and unsettling. Here, Simon reveals why he loves it so much.
"When I was growing up, electronic music excited me right from the start - it sounded so modern and clean and kind of hopeful. The Doctor Who theme tune by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop always thrilled me to ribbons, then I somehow got hold of a tape of Switched on Bach by Wendy Carlos - Bach played on Moog Synthesisers - when I was about ten years old and I was hooked. Well , I say "hooked" , but the reality of hearing or being able to find electronic-based music as an adolescent in the early 70s, in a small town in Northumberland, was fairly limited. Then punk came along and I immediately jumped ship and became totally immersed in that for a couple of years. That also felt modern, but kind of dirty and fun at the same time.
I still absolutely love hearing new music and I'm always looking for my next new obsession. These days I do rely on recommendations a lot more, as I'm not as close to the coal-face as I once was. My good friend Jason Evans, the photographer and DJ, is always coming up with great suggestions and my co-worker Shun Bellieni is a font of knowledge as to what is new and exciting.
The first music video that really excited me was probably the one for Herbie Hancock's Rockit, in 1983, with all of the robots and animatronic bodies. The tune was great and the video was kind of irreverent and messy. I've just had a look at it, again, and I think it still works today.
I think I just came across Major Lazer by accident, on the internet. I found their video for Pon De Floor and I was hooked. That video is just fantastic. The pop-punk-dancehall styling, and the really crude CGI work and all that rudeness! It's everything I love. Since then I've consumed everything they've put out. They do really varied and interesting collaborations with all kinds of artists.
I first saw the video for Major Lazer's Keep It Goin' Louder online when it first came out and it blew me away. It's kind of crudely done but just so naughty and fantastic and funny. I'm a fan of the colourful and garish and the O.T.T. at times, when it's called for, and I've never been too afraid of bad taste... I just really like the cartoon quality of it all. I especially love the way they've done the girls' faces. It always makes me laugh. And their dancing - just fantastic. There aren't really any obvious references behind the video, it just reminds me of other Major Lazer videos. They all feel a bit like those illustrated 80s Jamaican Dub album covers brought to life, by the likes of Scientist or Mad Professor.
There is nothing I would change about this video, I think it's kind of perfect as it is. I don't think it matters too much if it's stood the test of time or not since it was released - it never set out to be slick or cutting edge. Its humour and vibrancy still tickle me and that's the main thing."
Text James Anderson