How the best collaborations of New York Fashion Week SS 22 happened

We spoke with the exciting musicians and up-and-coming designers that teamed up to create our favorite exhibits.

September 16, 2021
How the best collaborations of New York Fashion Week SS 22 happened Sarah Schecker

New York Fashion Week went from url to irl after two seasons of pandemic-enforced virtual shows, and we couldn’t be happier. During the week, the city buzzed with runway shows integrating original compositions and live performances by some of our favorite transgressive musicians. We spoke with the designers and musicians behind some of the week's best.

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For Spring/Summer 2022, Collina Strada joined forces with musicians Dorian Electra & Frost Children to perform a cover of Pharrell's “Happy.” The runway show took place in The Brooklyn Grange, New York’s largest rooftop farm, highlighting their overarching theme of sustainability & community. Within the press release, the brand “[encourages] each of you to pursue a rooftop garden for your own living situation” by providing a template to send to your landlord advocating for rooftop gardens.

The FADER: What was the concept behind this collection, and how did it influence your musical direction?

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Frost Children: After talking with Collina Strada about possibilities for music this season, we agreed that a punk track sung from a farm animal or crop’s perspective would be fun. I had been thinking a lot about snails after watching tons of Spongebob, and his pet snail Gary was sort of the blueprint of the track. I love how chill he is, and we had just watched the episode where he falls in love with another snail at the park. Truly a special vibe.

How did the music complement the collection and set a tone for the runway show?

Like the other music I’ve done for Collina, the track and the runway music included abstract/nonsense phrases about nature, actual advice on how to live more sustainably, as well as explicit references to the brand. We like to keep it silly while also acknowledging more stern topics.

Tell us a little bit about the collaboration process between Collina Strada, Dorian Electra and Frost Children.

Performing alongside Dorian was purely epic. When we heard they were performing their cover of “Happy,” we immediately made an outro track for the show that matched the psycho dissonance and fun of that track. It ended up with us making a rave-y beat over a phone left-off-the-hook beeping sound while we screamed “Collina Strada! Snails!” I don’t know if we would have felt okay leaning into the craziness that much if Dorian wasn’t there.

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What did you want the viewers to take away from the performance?

I think the main current of the soundtrack is a reminder to stay light-hearted and never take yourself too seriously. Never feel too boxed into a sound or genre or tastes of any kind. Follow any idea you have for creating something even if it seems insanely dumb. It’s usually better that way anyway.

Luar, the namesake label of Raul Lopez, is back from a brief hiatus. This season, Lopez makes mention of his intention to break through his rough exterior for the audience to get a deeper look inside-- much like an “oyster.” He tapped in longtime music collaborators, Gatekeeper, to give us a peek into the sonic transition from hard to soft.

The FADER: What was the concept behind this collection, and what first came to mind musically?

GateKeeper: The initial direction for the music was to bring some magic dissonance and symphonic drama (our shtick) to crowd-pleasers and SoundCloud rips selected deliberately by Luar.

How did you want the music to complement the collection?

We sourced popular acapellas from Luars’ playlists to connect to the more casual looks, and noisier, chaotic music to match signature Luar experimental silhouettes. From indulgent Alanis Morissette piano ballads to Dembow meme anthems to Bryant Park fashion-house loops and Pixar movie samples, it was important the soundtrack had the same depth and sense of fantasy as the collection.

Tell us a little bit about the collaboration process between Luar & Gatekeeper.

Raul has incredible taste. This is obvious, but it translates to music, too. He sends us the most epic references and guides the process of the soundtrack through a maze of inspiring musical tangents. Working with him is super fun because some of his references are completely outside of our usual style, so it's mind-expanding. There were a few hypnotic Dembow tracks which he gave us at the last minute that drove the soundtrack in a way we wouldn't normally go, and it was awesome.

What did you want the viewers to take away from the show?

Honestly, it's a tribute to Luar. Everyone gets to experience Raul's inner musical world

Saint Sintra designer Sintra Martins named this season’s collection after a children’s coloring book, “The Color of Things” - a nod to its “Technicolor hyperpop dystopia” as a source of inspiration in addition to the cartoons she loved to watch as a kid. Martins collaborated with DJ HD to bring the show to life.

The FADER: What was the concept behind this collection?

Sintra Martins: This collection is inspired by the Pink Panther cartoon series, more specifically the Inspector’s assistant Deux-Deux (pronounced Doo-Doo) who is always foiling the inspector’s plans. Si! I mean oui.

HD: The collection name says it all - kookytown. I wanted to bring in sounds that are as vibrant and zany as the looks, with a cartoonish energy.

How did the music complement the collection and set a tone for the runway show?

Sintra Martins: I wanted the music to make you giggle a bit, just like the collection.

HD: We focused on garage, drum and bass, and donk sounds. We also wanted to bring in a Y2K and emo throwback quality. I think the opening track says it all honestly — a clubby donk remix of the Atomic Kittens cover of Blondie’s “The Tide is High.” It compresses genre and different points in pop culture just like the collection.

Tell us a little bit about the collaboration process between Saint Sintra and HD.

Sintra Martins: I saw HD perform at Happy Fun Hideaway a few months ago and it was super good vibes all around so I wanted to bring that energy to the show.

HD: Very collaborative and dynamic. We went back and forth on the tracklist and got to share some pretty wild music with each other.

What did you want the viewers to take away from the experience?

Sintra Martins: I wanted the audience to feel a bit overwhelmed but ready to get up and walk the runway with the models.

HD: The collection is so fun and high energy with so many reference points to fashion and pop culture history. The soundscape does the same thing. Have fun with it!

Private Policy x Jess Hu

Private Policy’s SS22 collection was based around human interaction with technology and nature. Created by Siyinq Qi and Horan Li, the label asked Jess Hu to create a sonic story to bring life to the runway.

The FADER: What was the concept behind this collection?

Private Policy: With the SS22 collection, we want to show how streetwear, urban style aesthetic, and human technology can be seamlessly combined with nature, organic soft shapes, color, and lifestyle. We aimed to present the beautiful relationship urban settings can have with plants, from apartments filled with greens to community gardens.

How did the music complement the collection and set a tone for the runway show?

The music was created to tell a sonic story of humans detached from nature and lost in the pursuit of technological advancement. Realizing the need to reconnect with the Earth, we work our way back. We end in a "meditation," slowing down, breathing deeply , coming home.

Tell us a little bit about the collaboration process between Private Policy and Jess Hu.

We first met through the FW21 project during the pandemic last year. We have mutual respect and aim to uplift fellow Asian creatives. She was our muse and model for the FW21 digital show.

This season, we wanted some fresh and immersive show tracks. While strolling MOMA PS1, we discussed the collection theme and decided to mix "industrial/techno/futuristic" with "organic/meditation/nature's elements" to showcase this fantastic possibility of harmony between human advancement and the Earth.

What did you want the viewers to take away from the experience?

Going on a flowing experience with us from excitement, to insight, to calm, and finally to feeling refreshed, recharged, and ready to take action for more greens in our cities.

How the best collaborations of New York Fashion Week SS 22 happened