Have you seen the special exhibition Icons of Style?
If so, you can testify as to the totally immersive environment that has been created in The Ringling Searing Wing. Our talented and creative exhibit prep team worked hand-in-hand with curators to create this stunning visual experience. You literally feel like you’re in the audience at a fashion show or standing near the red carpet at the Oscars.
Still… while the exhibition was an unequivocal feast for the eye, some of our other senses were feeling a little left out.
No matter how physically difficult, one MUST restrain oneself from touching the artwork; in this case, the garments.
But it would just be so nice to feel how soft the thousands of feathers are on the gown worn by Nicole Kidman for a Harper’s Bazaar cover! We must exercise all our willpower not to caress the supple, royal blue silk dress worn by Princess Di for an official royal visit to Japan. Still… mustn’t touch. It’s in the best interest of the clothing. It’s museum policy. And for preservation’s sake, we just can’t. Sigh.
Since touch isn’t an option, we decided to stimulate instead our auditory faculties. With haute couture as inspiration, we curated a playlist that you may listen to anywhere – but which sounds best while viewing Icons of Style (with headphones of course!).
Here are some highlights, and the inspiration behind them:
We kick things off with “Fashionista” by Jimmy James, which totally paints the picture in our head of the chaos backstage directly before the first model steps onto the runway.
Some of the songs made recent appearances at fashion shows – indie act Tegan and Sara’s hit “Closer” was played at Nicole Miller during NYFW, for example, and Fiona Apple’s “Hot Knife” rocked at Band of Outsider’s show.
John Galliano was directly influenced by Puccini’s classic opera Madame Butterfly, for his S/S 2007 show for Christian Dior where Katisha-san premiered (the maroon/cream kimono-style number at right), so there’s a selection from Madame Butterfly as performed by the Vienna State Opera.
Several tunes are 80s-inspired since a number of the pieces premiered during that decade. We’re channeling the big-hair era with the White Lies’ “Getting Even,” Kylie Minogue’s “Can’t Get You Out of My Head,” and ”Neneh Cherry’s “Buffalo Stance” which includes the lyric: “looking good’s a state of mind” (love that). And “Girls” by the Beastie Boys is purely tongue-in-cheek fun.
What self-respecting fashion-inspired playlist could leave off Madonna’s “Vogue”? Or Sinatra’s “Baubles, Bangles, and Beads,” for that matter? For the younger set, there’s Lady Gaga’s “Fashion of His Love.” Current queen of the airwaves Lorde wasn’t to be missed either as her hit “Royals” seems entirely apropos here.
And still others are just fun to listen to, like Janelle Monae’s “Tightrope – feat. Big Boi,” the Noisettes’ “Don’t Upset the Rhythm,” Passion Pit’s “Sleepyhead,” and “I See I Say” by Ebony Bones!.
Thoughts? Let us know! And enjoy :)