Courtesy of Getty Images.

Melodies Of The Runway: Our NYFW FW19 Playlist

From Marilyn Manson to Toni Braxton to Barry Manilow.

by Nick Remsen
Feb 15 2019, 3:54pm

Courtesy of Getty Images.

Fashion shows can be greatly assisted—or, sometimes, marred—by their music. Audio is a big, big part of the takeaway. And, once in a blue moon, a soundtrack can sync so well with a collection that the show becomes instantaneously memorable—a perfect storm of habiliment and harmony.

I'm recalling Brandon Maxwell's Spring/Summer 2017 runway, which opened with the never-not-peppy "Man, I Feel Like A Woman" by Shania Twain. Likewise Alexander Wang's Fall/Winter 2015 catwalk, where Gesaffelstein's "Pursuit" ripped through the set. Throughout the course of the Fall/Winter 2019 shows in New York, GARAGE's editors kept their ears to the ground.

Here's a list of the strongest in sound:

Song: "Hey Now (Don’t Dream It’s Over)" cover by Lolo

Heard at: Tom Ford

Lolo’s languid, vaguely melancholic cover of Australian rock band Crowded Houses's song neatly accented the fluidity and heartfelt focus of Tom Ford's runway. Ford’s collection saw a return to the designer’s provocativeness à la the 1990’s, but in a more grown-up and arguably more serious way. Think: sexy, but in a reclaimed, semi-nostalgic manner. Ford was demonstrating that in an ugly world there are still ways to find and to conjure beauty. Don’t dream it’s over.

Song: "Waters of Nazareth" by Justice

Heard at: Palomo Spain

Alejandro Gómez Palomo’s vision is buried deep in classicism; his dresses are often of the more traditional variety (despite being gender interchangeable) and sometimes made of rediscovered vintage silks and satins. The blown-speaker grittiness and the pace-revving bass line of Justice’s 2005 hit gave the show’s finale a contemporary thrill.

Song: "The Dope Show" by Marilyn Manson

Heard at: Palm Angels

Through weed smoke and lasers, Francesco Ragazzi’s Palm Angels soldiers clomped to the wailing of Manson’s perma-creepy “The Dope Show.” Was there an underlying, industry-baiting commentary at play? With lyrics like “there’s lots of pretty, pretty ones, that want to get you high, but all the pretty, pretty ones, will leave you low, and blow your mind,” it did get you thinking…

Song: "Un-Break My Heart (Acapella Version)" by Toni Braxton

Heard at: Kim Shui

A sonic-sartorial juxtaposition that left us shook: Kim Shui’s iridescence, tie-dyes, funky color combos, and saturated-sexy separates next to the stark, bare, raw, perfect vocal chords of Ms. Braxton. (Also we didn’t know there was an acapella version of this song—which we'd argue is considerably stronger than the instrumental original.)

Song: "Forever Young" by Jay-Z

Heard at: Brandon Maxwell

A modern classic song for a modern classic designer; Maxwell’s sportive elegance—imagined for Fall with a bonus shellack of Hollywood regency reminiscence—walked out fabulously under the musical gold of this Jay-Z mega hit. Another thing: Maxwell’s collections are deeply personal and tied to his life story, and if any song brings back memories of times gone by, “Forever Young" is it.

Song: "Copacabana" by Barry Manilow

Heard at: Michael Kors

Well this was a fucking moment. Barry Manilow's performance of “Copacabana” live at Michael Kors’s show was an aural instance shining as bright as Lola with the yellow feathers in her hair and her dress cut down to there. Equally as good? The shamelessly glam Studio 54 sequined dresses (we loved look 13 in violet and the Deep-V neckline). For a morning, New York was once again the hottest spot north of Havana.

Song: "Woman" by Mumford & Sons

Heard at: Oscar de la Renta

Have you heard this song, “Woman” by Mumford & Sons? It’s wonderful… melodic, even hypnotic, and it kind of reminds me of the track that got me through college—"Heartbeats" by José Gonzalez. “Woman” worked superbly above Oscar de la Renta’s Fall/Winter collection, where tailoring, drape, and evening all impressed. Like what Mumford & Sons say in the tune, “I am left in awe.”

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