Music and fashion have always gone hand-in-hand, and Saint Laurent is highlighting this partnership through an exclusive vinyl record collection. Saint Laurent Rive Droite stores will be launching a boxset of 12 vinyls featuring the original musical stylings of French DJ and electronic music icon SebastiAn used in Saint Laurent shows.
The collection, named “FREQUENCIES,” was crafted in collaboration with Saint Laurent Creative Director Anthony Vaccarello for the luxury house’s fashion shows since 2017.
The collection spans shows 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 be also on Spotify, Deezer and Apple Music from July 1st.
The two creative minds speak to HYPEBEAST about how this collaboration came to be and what inspires their artistic visions.
HYPEBEAST: How did you two come to work together?
Anthony Vaccarello: We were introduced by a common friend of us. SebastiAn was working on Charlotte’s new album. I had heard an extract completely illegally. 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: I was finishing the last Charlotte Gainsbourg album in New York at this time. And Nathalie Canguilhem (the A.D. of Charlotte and Anthony) proposed me to get in touch with Anthony, to see what interesting could happen on a show if we work together as a start. And it finally totally matched, something was working between the universe of Anthony and mine. We never stoped working together since this time.
Anthony, how would you define the role of SebastiAn’s music in your fashion shows? How does he participate in your vision?
AV: It 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 should be direct and immediate. We discuss ideas way in advance and we finalize it only few days or hours before the show as it should be relevant and perfectly in line with the evolution of it.
SebastiAn, how did you approach this new exercise?
S: The process is quite close to movie scores, but very concentrated. What was new to me is the timing to create the all music of the show. Around 3 or 4 days to create and finalizing everything. It looks rough, but in a strange way it was especially the thing that I liked in the exercise. Not having the time to think about anything else is quite good for the music. Straight from the brain to the emotion.
How is this different from building a “classic” mix?
S: It’s a very short time to create all the music, and I like the fact that it is going so fast that you almost discovering the music you just made at the same time the audience do. Cause I usually give the last version of the show not even an hour before it starts. It even happened that everything changed 10 minutes before the start of show. And I like this energy. In this process, the brain is kind of the an enemy for the music, you have to let the things happen and just « make », not analyzing. It’s a nice feeling and an interesting way to work to me.
What do you think is good fashion show music? Conversely, what would totally fail?
AV: A good fashion show music should remark the idea of the collection. Music can be uncomfortable, but it must 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 the clothes, but to create the frame where its live. It’s working if the music and the creations are in harmony. When everything makes one coherent universe. Conversely, it doesn’t work if you feel that the music is just here to be « the music of the show ». You have to remember the all experience.
Can you explain your creative process?
AV: It’s starting from obsessions. Love on the Beat, Lemon Incest … There is something in Serge’s 80’s 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, we’re good!
SebastiAn, how do you musically interpret the fabrics? Is it the leather? Vinyl?
S: The thing is not to interpret literally the texture of the clothes, but the world where the people are wearing it. You have to design the feelings of what you see, to 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 have a strong identity, so even if we experiment lots of different ways to express this identity, it’s important to respect this singularity.
What is the key for a good collaboration? To collaborate well, do you have to keep some distance?
AV: Yes, I think, otherwise we would be too much on the same wavelength. We have to exchange with each other in a certain way. This allows us to experiment on our own and to take real pleasure in meeting each other. I like this kind of distance, it’s enriching.
Do you have any musical influences in common?
AV: I think we definitely have Serge Gainsbourg in common but not only. We never talked about it. We have above all in common 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 were the groups or movements that stood out for you?
AV: The Velvet Underground, Lou Reed and Bowie. It may obvious but they remain my reference. With lots of bad 90’s or 2000’s to make it even more personal!