- Words by Mr Tom M Ford, Features Writer, MR PORTER
The worlds of fashion and music have never been so intertwined. With big brands such as Burberry eagerly trading on the youthful appeal of contemporary musicians, artists have become the new campaign models and front-row royalty. From London to Milan and Paris this month, the likes of Ciara, Mr Mark Ronson and Ms Paloma Faith popped up as much as the designers, or Mr David Gandy. And the LC:M appointment of DJ Nick Grimshaw as its ambassador shows what a significant music following can do.
With this in mind, designers - some of whom align themselves with a "rap" (see: Neil Barrett) or "rock" (Burberry, anyone?) aesthetic - take time to pick the right tracks for the runway. And as show attendees eagerly check their Shazam apps, matching the ethos of the collection with the perfect sound, while injecting some extra cool into the clothes, is key.
Below, we've picked out our favourite examples of the tunes we heard at the shows this month. From King Krule at Gucci to Madonna at Craig Green - head over to Spotify to enjoy an eclectic, fashion-friendly playlist.
"Sock It 2 Me"
As well as Drake, "Started From the Bottom", the British fashion designer plumped for the notorious female rapper to go with his dark, modernist menswear. A fitting choice - and extra points, of course, for the clothing item in the title.
The young British musician made us feel right at home in Milan - bringing some South London grit to a show that featured an array of slim-fitting ensembles any rake-thin rock star would approve of.
Beyoncé featuring Frank Ocean
We enjoyed the dulcet tones of Queen Bey and rapper of the moment Mr Frank Ocean to complement Mr Tomas Maier's subtle collection - which was, in his words, about "versatility and ease".
"Meds and Feds"
"I wanted to start with the innocence of the Mickey Mouse theme and then merge into 'Meds and Feds'... It was the sound equivalent of the open-mouth scream," says Mr Abley. Indeed - much like the British designer's show - a bit of M.I.A. will always grab the attention.
"Do Ya Wanna Funk (remix)"
Ms Donatella Versace got our feet tapping in Milan with a spot of retro 1980s dance. A fun-filled track that matched the "celebration of individuality" that was central to her show.
"Johnny Remember Me"
This 1960s hit invoked an eerie, sepia-tinged atmosphere - with echoed vocals and broken strumming. It's a track that, in Mr James' words, was intended to "evoke the proud, provocative and very British sense of style that we paid homage to".
Some rather apocalyptic techno was waiting for us at J.W.Anderson in London - which we were more than glad to be seated for. Intense, perhaps, but a good burst of this track did wonders for a show that, in the designer's words, "wanted to achieve something awkward, less comfortable".
"Live to Tell"
"Roxette - 'Listen to Your Heart' was the show track and Madonna - 'Live to Tell' was the finale track. We chose both songs because we liked the way they contrasted and complemented the collection," says Mr Green. A good old 1980s classic to go with an exceedingly fashion forward collection.
Mr Christopher Bailey got the young singer-songwriter to record a cover of this legendary song especially for his show. A collection that oozed rock appeal - one-to-watch guitarist Mr George Ezra also made an appearance.
"All Around the World"
Mr Watanabe had the whole room at his Paris show mouthing along to this nostalgic 1990s indie hit, which only served to heighten our enjoyment of the avant-garde designer's collection.