the 5 best soundtracks of nyfw, featuring bowie, dev hynes, and bucket drummers

As Fashion Month bids farewell to the Big Apple, here are the show tunes lingering in our ears.

by Emily Manning
Feb 17 2017, 10:45pm

Coach: Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness remains The Smashing Pumpkins's defining opus. The epic, ambitious record broadened Corgan and company's sound, certainly, but also its audience. Adored by critics (and Simpsons fans), Mellon Collie was nominated for a staggering seven Grammy Awards and has sold over 10 million copies. So it's unsurprising the album has a few fans in fashion. Raf Simons has used "Tonight, Tonight," in three of his shows, most memorably during his emotional Jil Sander finale. Another Mellon Collie cut, the era-defining "1979," soundtracked Coach's fall/winter 17 show earlier this week. Its music video - which features kids doing donuts in a parking lot before scaling a hill - was reflected in the desert brush set design. In Corgan's words: "Cool kids never have the time."

Alexander Wang: Downtown oracle Alexander Wang took things way uptown for fall/winter 17 - to 146th Street and Broadway, convening at what Google revealed to be Harlem's RKO Hamilton Theater. Now vacant and somewhat derelict, the cavernous hall was built in 1913, and has enjoyed many lives over the past 104 years: it's been a vaudeville house, movie theater, an evangelic church, a boxing ring, and a disco. On Saturday, it played home to a DJ set by one of hip-hop's most in-demand producers of the moment, Metro Boomin. The 23-year-old Atlanta wunderkind bumped his own creations (like Migos's chart topper "Bad and Boujee") as well as some prime Diddy from his sticker-covered laptop. Back in September, the designer enlisted the producer for his fall/winter 16 #WANGSQUAD - alongside fellow music luminaries like A$AP Ferg, Tinashe, RL Grime, and Vince Staples. Boomin' is perhaps the most apt descriptor of Saturday's set; Young Metro's big, full basslines felts as though they might take paint off the RKO's walls.

Calvin Klein: For his hugely anticipated debut collection at the helm of Calvin Klein, Raf Simons took a wide-ranging look at America's history, visual culture, and classic clothing (think denim, leather, Western-style shirts, cowboy boots, suits, varsity sweaters). The show's soundtrack took a similar approach: casting a wide net over American music, keeping some classics in tact, and reinterpreting others. Last week's outing was bookended by two different versions of Bowie's "This is Not America," - the original, produced in 1985, and one recorded by the Lazarus musical's ensemble cast in 2016. Some soundtrack snippets included Roy Orbison's "In Dreams," which enjoyed a resurgence in 1986 thanks to one of Simons's favorite directors, David Lynch; and elements of John Barry's Midnight Cowboy score. Simons also incorporated a Björk-esque Ramones cover, and one of the most mutable songs in the American canon, "I Only Have Eyes for You." Simons used The Flamingos's popular 1959 version, but everyone from Frank Sinatra to The Fugees has put a spin on it. 

Gypsy Sport: Rio Uribe's most recent collection was inspired by people living on the street in Paris, Mexico, and Los Angeles — the places Uribe visited while creating this season's garments. So it was fitting that the designer cast members of his pan-ethnic, gender-irreverent tribe while he was at marches and activist demonstrations. And, given the feelings of celebration Uribe wished to convey, it was also fitting that an incredibly talented troupe of bucket drummers provided the show's soundtrack. These rapid-fire percussionists are often found performing on New York City sidewalks or subway stations, but felt right at home at the center of Uribe's radical runway.

Maryam Nassir Zadeh: Fresh from releasing his first single (and gorgeous music video) as one half of VeilHymn — a new collaborative project with Starchild and the New Romantic's Bryndon Cook — Devonté Hynes teamed up with another friend this fashion week. The Blood Orange frontman created an original synth score for Maryam Nassir Zadeh's fall/winter 17 show, presented at the Guggenheim Museum's Peter B. Lewis theater. "Dev has always been very dear to me," Zadeh explained to i-D backstage. "I told him some of the concepts of what's happening in my life, and he made an original score. I feel so honored, he did such a brilliant job." It wasn't Hynes's first Fashion Week rodeo. Last year, Hynes created an original piece for Eckhaus Latta's spring/summer 17 show in Chinatown, and morphed an earlier work he'd composed for the duo into one of Freetown Sound's best tracks, "EVP." 


Text Emily Manning

Alexander Wang
New York Fashion Week
Calvin Klein
maryam nassir zadeh