All eyes are on Milan and Paris. These weeks are crucial for lovers of both haute couture and streetwear, as they witness in the catwalks a reflection of the imminent future of fashion. That’s why creative directors and their brands take advantage of this time to give their all on the runway, and the music section always tends to be noteworthy. Celebrating Milan and Paris Fashion Week, we bring you a compilation of some runway shows where electronic music served as the soundtrack to unveil the most anticipated collections on the planet.
PRADA FEAT. PLASTIKMAN (AKA RICHIE HAWTIN) (2021)
In 2021, the fashion world witnessed an extraordinary collaboration between Prada and Richie Hawtin under his alias Plastikman. The avant-garde approach of Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons met Hawtin’s minimal techno soundscapes filled with drones and ethereal atmospheres in a futuristic partnership. Plastikman crafted two bespoke soundtracks, one for the Spring/Summer 2021 Women’s collection and another for the Fall/Winter 2021 Men’s collection, creating an immersive fusion of fashion and music that pushed creative boundaries.
LOUIS VUITTON FEAT. DAFT PUNK (2008), HONEY DIJON (2018)
In 2008, Louis Vuitton made a bold statement that innovatively merged fashion and electronic music. The former creative director of the house, Marc Jacobs, had the honor of collaborating with the legendary French duo Daft Punk, who created an exclusive nine-song mix for the Spring/Summer 2008 collection presentation. Homem-Christo and Bangalter curated a compilation that highlighted Daft Punk’s classic sound, including their collaboration with Kanye West, ‘Stronger‘, with a deliberately rougher edge than usual to enhance the models’ performance on the runway.
Ten years later, with Kim Jones at the helm of LV, his old friend Honey Dijon was entrusted with providing the soundtrack for the Fall/Winter 2018 collection. To achieve this, Dijon created a special adaptation of the Chicago house anthem ‘Takin’ It Straight‘ by Cori Josias in a collaboration that the artist herself described as “an opportunity to share underground anthems and influential music with a global audience”.
KENZO FEAT. JAMIE XX (2013)
Under the direction of Humberto Leon and Carol Lim, Kenzo unveiled its Fall/Winter 2013 line for the first time with a special guest at the decks. Jamie xx took control of the speakers during the runway show, creating a 10-minute mix that elevated elements of jazz, groove, tribal, soul, and house to another level. It was a marriage of experimental and rhythmic sounds through which The xx member left his mark on the brand’s legacy.
SAINT LAURENT FEAT. SEBASTIAN (2023)
In 2017, Saint Laurent, under the creative direction of Anthony Vaccarello, surprised the fashion world by collaborating with the French Touch master, SebastiAn. The Ed Banger artist revealed in his foray into the world of fashion that his Electro Punk years were behind him, getting rid of the inordinate amount of distortions and abrupt cuts that he was known for in each of his earlier productions. His new facet includes long orchestral ballads with subtle progressive electronic touches crafted specifically for each collection, in a collaboration that has extended over the years and now includes up to 14 original pieces.
DIOR FEAT. JUSTICE (2009)
Without leaving chez Ed Banger, let’s rewind to 2009 when Kris Van Assche, the artistic director of Dior Homme at the time, commissioned Justice to create a four-part remastered version of their 2005 track, ‘Planisphere‘. This collaboration resulted in an impressive juxtaposition of natural elements and futuristic settings that accompanied the models on the Dior Homme runway to the beat of Gaspard Augé and Xavier de Rosnay’s powerful yet elegant savoir-faire.
GIVENCHY FEAT. THE MARTINEZ BROTHERS (2015), DIXON (2016)
Riccardo Tisci and The Martinez Brother met one night in Ibiza, and what could have remained as a simple friendship, blossomed into a memorable collaboration. Givenchy welcomed the New York siblings to oversee the soundtrack for several collections between 2014 and 2016, featuring original productions that oscillated between the ethereal and the rhythmic, with hints of looped trap samples.
For the 2016/2017 men’s fashion collection, the renowned DJ and producer Dixon was the selector of the evening with a mix of three experimental tracks. A mini-mix dominated by dissonances and synthesizer melodies evoking the 1980s, creating a continuous emotional tension throughout the journey. The German artist managed to provide a unique acoustic atmosphere that perfectly complemented Givenchy’s vision, merging haute couture fashion with electronic music in a captivating manner.
BALMAIN FEAT. GESAFFELSTEIN (2019)
Gesaffelstein unveiled the birth of a new era in his mysterious storyline with his album ‘Hyperion‘ (2019). For this, the author joined forces with Balmain to immortalize his image with an iconic outfit that honored his moniker as the “dark prince of techno”. With Olivier Rousteign dressing him from head to toe –literally–, Mike Lévy returned the favor to the brand by not only getting involved in the musical line of their Balmain Festival in 2019 but also posing in his stunning white suit, mask, and red cape at the grand finale of the show.3