DM: How did you get into Runway Fashion Music?
DJW: I was a graphic designer working on Nautica’s advertising and brand marketing in 1999. One day, I convinced my creative directors that I would be a better than their current music fashion producers at that time. They eventually gave me the job and that first show led me to another. My best friend was also producing fashion shows for unheard of young designers and he hired me oft en. That helped me learn about fashion shows early on.
DM: What do you feel is the importance of a good runway music program?
DJW: The music shows what mood the designer is feeling at that moment. It gives the fashion house a chance to express their brand identity, their place in pop culture and perhaps their relevance in the world beyond the collection. A good soundtrack can also help sear into memory the experience of being at the show
when there are so many hundreds of shows to compete from.
DM: When discussing music with the design team do the clothes or brand inspire you …or do designers usually make their own selection? Explain the process.
DJW: Th e process for each designer every season is different. Sometimes I arrive at my first meeting and the designer has an album he/she has been listening to while working or someone on the team, like a stylist, has a song that perfectly expresses the mood of the collection and there have been many times the designers are completely open to discovering something new. I never know going in how the music will develop but it is a generally a collaborative effort. The music selection is completely strategic based on a designer’s inspiration boards, the collection in progress, the venue; set design, hair & make-up ideas, and so forth. I try to get the designer to simplify their ideas for the season down to a few choice words into what the overall idea of the presentation will be. Once I have that nailed down, a singular concept is presented for the soundtrack. Sometimes, the music matches the visual look of the collection and other times the music is running in a completely different direction of the looks to offset any obvious or easy expectations.
DM: Music is an artistic expression what are some of your other artistic talents?
DJW: I graduated from the School of Visual Arts majoring in advertising. So I’m also a professional hands on graphic designer and art director. I can express branding marketing concepts visually and musically. But I think the creative process is the same but I just use different tools to get things done.
DM: What are some runway music favorites for the Spring 2011 season?
DJW: My favorite soundtracks has a clear singular concept & deceptively simple execution that audience will hopefully be inspired by. For example, Jason Wu’s Spring 2011 soundtrack is based on the gothic, masculine vocals of Paul Banks, the lead singer of Interpol. I mixed tracks from his solo album Julian Plenti alongside Interpol’s classic tracks with some classical string versions to present a seamless singular whole. The result was a rocking sound that had an uptown feel with a romantic dark edge. I also loved Sally Lapointe’s Spring 2011 soundtrack which was a primal and slow drum beat from The Golden Filter which allowed me to easily mix in similar vocal tracks from Sleigh Bells and UNKLE to create the perfect matching story that matched alien world of the collection. I also loved Kimberly Ovitz’s fearless and ominous Zola Jesus inspired soundtrack that freaked out some of her audience members. Nicole Miller’s Spring 2011 iamamiwhoami based soundtrack was an unexpectedly cool choice for her. And I loved the youthful british wit of mashing up The Divine Comedy with Cocknbullkid for Peter Som Spring 2011.
DM: Working Fashion Week is always crazy?! Tell me about your most interesting fashion week music adventure ( i.e. there was a change last minute, no CD, Models not on cue)
DJW: Fashion week is always tough because I have to meet with all of these designers and their teams simultaneously for a couple of weeks before the show. For Spring 2011, I worked on 10 events at the same time. I really don’t have much time to over think the creative process. I just try my best to get it done. At a women’s Gucci show for Frida Giannini, the show music engineer (NOT ME!), played the finale CD at the start of the show! It took about 15 seconds for the engineer to correct his mistake but the show already started. That was embarrassing but thankfully there was a second showing afterwards.
DM: What is coming up next for MRWILSONDJ?
DJW: I am working with a colleague on an original album that I very am excited about. My music partner is a genius and I can’t wait to share the music with everyone.
About the Author (Author Profile)
Dorelle is the creator and manager of Vivrant Magazine through the print, online and Apple platforms. “While on a long journey of passionate endeavours I discovered a underlining passion for writing. I am egar to explore all the wonderful ways to express myself through writing and publishing. My professors saw a real talent and now is the time I have chosen to develop it.” – Dorelle (112)