We’ve said it once before but it bares repeating now (to borrow a line): a runway show is about more than the clothes. What often makes a show memorable is the presentation, the location, the music. Is it some generic electronic track, or did thought go into making every song fit with the mood of the collection? We can’t help but pay attention, and so – without further ado – here’s a roundup of some of the most well-chosen soundtracks from the men’s spring / summer 2014 shows.
Paul Smith Men’s Spring 2014: psychedelic rock.
Paul Smith’s runway was awash with the sun-kissed and psychedelic sounds of the ’60s and ’70s… or was it? A collection designed in the present day but in tribute to another era, mirrored by a soundtrack of music written in the present day but in tribute to another era… Everything in this show was a case of the old becoming new (and cool) again.
Smith’s psychedelic rock inspired collection was backed by Tame Impala (with Elephant), Triptides’ Overboard, and the ’60s-sounding strums of the Allah-Las. If you felt like you’d landed in Paris, 2013, via 1960s California, then Paul Smith’s show did its job well.
See all of Paul Smith men’s spring 2014.
Ann Demeulemeester Men’s Spring 2014: Devendra Banhart.
Ann Demeulemeester traded the deep and dark Nick Cave for the upbeat folk of Devendra Banhart for spring 2014, washing the runway with the retro doo-wop of Shabop Shalom and the catchy-as-a-cold bass of Never Seen Such Good Things. The tracks may be years apart – the latter featuring on Banhart’s 2013 album Mala – but they made a perfect fit for Demeulemeester’s poetically striped, mildly bohemian spring collection.
See the full Ann Demeulemeester spring 2014 menswear collection at that link.
John Richmond Men’s Spring 2014: Depeche Mode.
If your theme is vibrantly “electro-tribal”, then you could do worse than to opt for a punch-packing soundtrack of Depeche Mode. The band’s trademark electronic beats rang out through the venue with Soothe My Soul, followed by the screeching synths and dirty guitars of I Feel You. A track of African Burundi drums closed the show, rounding out the tribal theme – but it was Depeche Mode that aligned to the retro-modern feel of the collection.
See the full John Richmond men’s spring 2014 runway gallery at that link.
Burberry Prorsum Men’s Spring 2014: British upcomers.
No surprises that the Burberry put together another soundtrack of mellow acoustic tracks from unearthed domestic talents – as is their wont. After all, the brand has built something bigger than fashion; a kind of finger-to-the-pulse status, strung from associations of British youth culture and coolness and channeled into their ‘Burberry Acoustic’ program. George Ezra’s Did You Hear The Rain, Squeeze’s Introvert and lastly Changing Faces – a demo from songstress Clare Maguire – made for yet another track listing that sounded as much like a green English countryside as it did like music.
The final walk got a more upbeat vibe courtesy the unmistakable voice of Neil Hannon, with The Divine Comedy’s Sunrise a fitting end to a summer show.