Music and fashion always go hand in hand, and Saint Laurent is highlighting this partnership with an exclusive collection of vinyl records. Saint Laurent Rive Droite stores will launch a 12 vinyl box set featuring the original musical styles of French DJ and electronic music icon Sebastian used in Saint Laurent shows.
The collection, named “FREQUENCIES”, has been designed in collaboration with Saint Laurent Creative Director Anthony Vaccarello for the luxury house’s catwalks since 2017.
The collection ranges from “Saint Laurent Women’s Spring Summer 17” to “Saint Laurent Women’s Summer 21” and is available in limited quantities exclusively at Saint Laurent Rive Droite Paris, Los Angeles and YSL.com. The soundtracks will also be on Spotify, Deezer and Apple Music from July 1.
The two creative minds talk to HYPEBEAST about how this collaboration came about and what inspires their artistic visions.
HYPEBEAST: How did you come to work together?
Anthony Vaccarello: We were introduced by a mutual friend of ours. SebastiAn was working on Charlotte’s new album. I had heard an extract from it in all illegality. And I loved what I heard. I knew his previous album. I like its poetic violence. Everything is very nervous, sharp but never inaudible.
Sebastian: At that time I was finishing Charlotte Gainsbourg’s last album in New York. And Nathalie Canguilhem (Charlotte and Anthony’s DA) offered to get in touch with Anthony, to see what might be interesting on a show if we worked together to begin with. And it finally totally matched, something was working between Anthony’s universe and mine. We have never stopped working together since that time.
Anthony, how would you define the role of SebastiAn’s music in your fashion shows? How does it participate in your vision?
A V: This is crucial. In a show, music is part of it. It’s not just clothes on a girl. With SebastiAn, we really want to reach people, with the constraint that a fashion show is very short. The impact must be direct and immediate. We discuss the ideas well in advance and we finalize them only a few days or hours before the show because it has to be relevant and perfectly in line with the evolution of the one.
SebastiAn, how did you approach this new exercise?
S: The process is quite similar to film scores, but very concentrated. What was new to me was the timing to create all of the music for the show. About 3 or 4 days to create and finalize it all. It sounds rough, but in a weird way it was mostly the thing I liked about exercising. Not having time to think about anything else is pretty good for music. Directly from the brain to the emotion.
How is this different from building a “classic” mix?
S: It’s very short to create all the music, and I love that it goes so fast that you almost discover the music you just made along with the audience. Because I usually release the latest version of the show not even an hour before it starts. It even happened that everything changed 10 minutes before the start of the show. And I love this energy. In this process, the brain is sort of the enemy of music, you have to let things happen and just “do”, not analyze. It’s a nice feeling and an interesting way of working for me.
What do you think is good fashion show music? Conversely, what would totally fail?
A V: Good fashion show music should make the idea of the collection stand out. Music can be uncomfortable, but it needs to be able to reach the audience. A failed show music… I have no idea. I haven’t experienced it yet!
S: It’s not just about showing off the clothes, but creating the setting in which they live. It works if the music and the creations are in harmony. When everything makes a coherent universe. Conversely, it doesn’t work if you feel the music is just there to be “the music of the show”. You have to remember the whole experience.
Can you explain your creative process?
A V: It’s from obsessions. Love on the Beat, Lemon Incest… There is something about Serge’s 80s beat that always sticks very well to what I do. SebastiAn makes me listen to compositions he creates from the words I give him, which are almost always the same. I appreciate his creativity all the more! We listen, we comment, we add instruments, we dissect everything, we mix. Usually when I get goosebumps during rehearsals, I’m fine!
SebastiAn, how to musically interpret the paintings? The leather? Vinyl?
S: It’s not about literally interpreting the texture of the clothes, but the world in which people wear it. You have to design the feelings of what you see, design the feelings of your own projections
Do you also take into account what “Saint Laurent” could be in the musical imagination?
S: Saint Laurent has a strong identity, so while we experiment with many different ways of expressing this identity, it is important to respect this uniqueness.
What is the key to good collaboration? To collaborate well, do you have to keep a certain distance?
A V: Yes, I think, otherwise we would be too on the same page. We have to trade with each other in some way. This allows us to experience for ourselves and to take real pleasure in meeting each other. I like this kind of distance, it’s rewarding.
Do you have musical influences in common?
A V: I think we have Serge Gainsbourg in common, but not only. We never talked about it. We have in common above all a controlled violence, sometimes cinematographic. Music is very important to me – much more, I would say, than a pair of shoes. The music stays.
What are the groups or movements that have marked you?
A V: LeVelvet Underground, Lou Reed and Bowie. It may be obvious but they remain my reference. With lots of bad 90’s or 2000’s to make it even more personal!
Discover the official Saint Laurent Fall / Winter 2021 men’s clothing collection unveiled this week.