A myriad of components are typically needed to assemble a runway show. Beyond a precise vision presented in no more than 20 minutes, are months of rigorous planning that go from set design, logistics to model casting. It takes a village and more often than not, it takes more than the spectacular clothes we show up for to deem a runway show a success.
Ricocheting out of the threads we see at presentations and resees, a runway is the ultimate performance for fashion folk. Which is why a crucial aspect of the show boils down to the music, with models stomping out in perfect tandem. Together, they tell a story. Pick the right sound and the show could make an impact; pick the wrong track and those beautiful threads might lose their shine with every stride.
Often, designers hunker to procure the perfect sound; a muse, a mood, an anthem—fit for the grand reveal of a new collection. Centred on a message or a statement, this season we’ve seen romanticism fall from the lips of Rihanna’s ‘Love On The Brain’ at Carolina Herrera’s breathtaking presentation of dreamy, flouncy silhouettes and as Daniel Lee debuted a new vision for Burberry, the electronic beats of UK producer Burial gave enigmatic life to the clothes. It was also in the way that Oliver Rousteing amplified Balmain’s elegance with a classic from Frank Sinatra. Married with the intimacy of a live band on set, Gabriela Hearst too, created a cinematic set, replete with sunset-hues awashing her collection.
And while fashion was the ultimate focus this past month, there were the tracks we grew to be besotted with since fixating our eyes on the runways. Here are the songs and sounds to save and add to a playlist or two—Vogue Singapore lists our favourites from the fall/winter 2023 season.
1 / 10
Caroline Herrera: 'Love On The Brain' by Rihanna
There’s soul, there’s passion and there’s romance. That, alongside the hypnotising delivery of RiRi, makes ‘Love On The Brain’ a surefire track to tousle with the opulence of Wes Gordon’s craftsmanship.
2 / 10
Coach: 'Every You Every Me' by Placebo
Coach’s fall/winter 2023 collection spoke true to Stuart Vevers’s vision of freedom, self-expression and unbridled fun in the Big Apple. It was in the youthful steps his models took while clad in patchwork leather and metallic shearling coats. An anthem for the cool kids? Placebo toed the line between effervescence and nonchalance.
3 / 10
Gabriela Hearst: 'The City' (Unreleased) by Sumbuck
There’s nothing more immersive than live music; a preference Gabriela Hearst has when it comes to her past runway shows. As folk singer Sumbuck crooned on the sidelines, raspy vocals from an unreleased record—mesmerising melodies riffed off violins to an electric guitar—a touching display came into full view. That of an essence of a woman.
4 / 10
Conner Ives: 'Lip Gloss' by Lil Mama
It was fashion-mania at Conner Ives—whose ‘Magnolia’ fall/winter 2023 collection paid homage to the enthused fashion scene that ruled the zeitgeist in the ’90s and ’00s. In diaphanous silk slips, upcycled tees and a tongue-in-cheek mix of clever tailoring, he throws it right back to a time brimming with the high of a party, hitting his show with this popping anthem by Lil Mama.
5 / 10
Ahluwalia: 'Work It' by Missy Elliott
Music was weaved into the garments at Ahluwalia—quite literally in this case. Shapes of old guitars, album art and the house’s signature wave motif all point to the strong references adopted from the music scene and perhaps the thumping beats of Missy Eliott’s ‘Work It’ were visually synonymous with the surging energy on the runway.
6 / 10
Burberry: 'Young Death' by Burial
It’s a new era for Burberry with Daniel Lee’s runway debut as newly-appointed creative director. To mark a new lease of life, the entrancing sounds of UK producer Burial added even more intrigue to the collection’s novelty.
7 / 10
Fendi: 'Falling' by Julee Cruise
As if orchestrated to send chills down one’s spine, Kim Jones’s contemplation of the modern-day woman was as elevated as it was wholly beguiling. Contrast played in pleated kilts over pants and lace things mired by the sharpness of tailored shirts but what was the most haunting of them all were the airy vocals of Julee Cruise floating through the runway.
8 / 10
Jil Sander: 'All Neon Like' by Björk
The familiar codes of Jil Sander seemed to have been broken this fall/winter 2023, as Luke and Lucie Meier ran an odyssey of their own individualities down the runway. As if to properly christen the newfound eccentricity of the label, Björk’s love song ‘All Neon Like’ complemented the oddities that followed—from motorcycle jackets to parachute dresses with crushed metal flowers.
9 / 10
Bottega Veneta: 'I Love You Always Forever' by Donna Lewis
It seems nothing can slow Matthieu Blazy down as he proved his prowess once again on Bottega Veneta’s fall/winter 2023 runway. With a delicious array of creative ensembles that left the fashion set feeling some type of way, it seemed there could be no better track to end off his show with than the ebullient track of Donna Lewis’s ‘I Love You Always Forever’ that simply puts a spring in your step.
10 / 10
Balmain: 'My Way' by Frank Sinatra
It was a brilliant showing of Olivier Rousteing’s deft hand in the atelier at Balmain this season—decked with sculptural tailoring, decadent shapes and intricate detailing. Eloquently conveyed through Sinatra’s soulful voice, it was an intimate show that leaned into the drama of French glamour and elegance.