Music in the catwalk makes a big contribution in the aesthetics of a fashion label. While it is extremely important to have a good designer, big and amazing lights, ambiance and many guests, it is also the sounds that a musician composes for a designer to present a collection to the crowd what completes the whole package of what the spectator is watching.
In the experience of Mauro Facchetti, an Italian musician from Milan graduated in Musicology from Cremona University and specialized in sound Engineering (or Tècnico del Suono, in Italian), has worked in several fashion shows back in his home city, Milan. In his opinion “almost nothing is going to work as a perfect execution on a catwalk, with the most transgressive garments and the most heavenly montage, if the music does not generate a favorable environment, which helps to communicate the message of the collection. It cannot be indifferent, or inept, or put ahead of what is happening in the show: it has to connect perfectly”.
In most catwalks since the early 80´s, prominence of music composers has been present. Today the DJ is present in its podium. In other more classic shows, the work remains behind the curtain, it all depends on the designer and the interpretation he wants spectators to perceive. But as this connection between fashion and music is back and forth, there are many cases in which a musician or a band, has inspired a designer to create a collection. But, then, does a musician (dj, band or composer) make a difference in the success of a fashion show? Or is it only the designer´s name, style and ideas that make a fashion show successful?
Back in the 80´s, designers like Thierry Mugler celebrated 10 years of the existence of his house by organizing a "Super Paying Show" in which he sold 6,000 tickets. At this times, catwalks were a party in a literal sense. According to Time Magazine in an article of 1984 by John Duka, '' Mr. Mugler said afterward. ''Either you do it very small and private or you do this. I think the public wants it this way.''
The dj´s boomed and celebrities like Karl Lagerfeld raised. This was a complete different era and the story is quite interesting. According to P. Facchetti, back in the 70´s, Legerfeld met Michel Gaubert, a young vinyl collector who worked importing music (vynils) for the Champ Disques store and made his first steps into the field of the remixes. Lagerfeld, which was a renowned music lover, asked for advice and repeatedly went to the meet Gaubert to follow his recommendations. Within time, they became friends and today, (and for two decades) Gaubert plays the music to many of the Channel fashion shows. At that time, Gaubert´s eclecticism when it came to mixing industrial sounds, voices, classical music or rock music from the seventies made him a regular contributor to Balenciaga, Viktor & Rolf, Oscar de la Renta, Louis Vuitton and almost all the companies that can be named. Lagerfeld is famous, among many other things, for changing his gang of collaborators and muses in very short periods of time. This DJ, or as the designer calls him, “stylist of sound”, is the exception. A variety of videos can be found in m2m.tv.
“The sound experience of the catwalk is definitive when it comes to creating an impression, or when wanting to emphasize the motivations that led the creator of the collection to trace those lines on paper, to then translate them into molds that would become pieces of cloth, sew to become the finished garment that we have before our eyes. Music is and should be part of the identity of a fashion creator. I do believe music helps the models as well to walk with a particular rhythm that is required by creators, and helps the viewer to be immersed in that bubble that contains all those elements the designer wants to show to the spectators”, says Facchetti in the interview conducted in October 2017.
It has been always a fact that men and women behind the microphone and in front of the crowd are normally celebrated as the most stylish entertainers. With that said, just because the DJ or band is behind-the-scenes in a fashion show, doesn’t mean that they can’t be as stylish (or more) as their vocal counterparts. One thing is for sure, without the music, collections would not have been remembered the same!