Where ’80s Music Meets Symbolist Painting
Oct. 20, 2015
Trying to get to the bottom of a Miu Miu collection is like trying to solve a rebus, and this season’s sheer, suited, and glittering showing could be Mrs. Prada’s opus of uncrackable code—though that just might be her intention. Backstage she spoke of irrationality as a keyword to unlocking her collection, a word that also inspired DJ Frédéric Sanchez to create the gloomy-yet-thumping soundtrack that accompanied the Miu Miu models as they strode through the set’s arches.
Sanchez’s soundtrack centered on Killing Joke’s seminal ’80s track “Love Like Blood,” which came in remixes alongside the original and was paired against German electronic music and punk songs from the late ’80s and early ’90s. The auditory mix was as much of a lesson in contrasts as Mrs. Prada’s clothing, a little sweet and a little sadistic, all rolled into a fantastical mélange.
The jumping-off point for the Parisian creative was the set, made of silver and gold undulating archways. “When I saw the set, there was something very medieval about this architecture. I started thinking about things like The Devils by Ken Russell and this idea of how to do medieval things in a kind of fantastical way and in a dark, science fiction sort of way,” Sanchez explained over the phone.
That led him to the late ’80s and its moody music with a surreal edge. “There was a certain moment in the ’80s where you have the Batcave moment and bands like Bauhaus and Killing Joke alongside this kind of poetry and romanticism that you find in youth culture and Symbolism,” Sanchez notes, adding Symbolist artists like Fernand Khnopff and Jean Delville to his list of references alongside ska and rudeboy culture.
Should that barrage of cross-cultural sources feel slightly overwhelming, Sanchez is happy to break down the parallels he was exploring: “It’s the romanticism of youth. I remember when I was 14 or 15, I was listening to bands like Joy Division and the Cure, but at the same time I was reading Lautréamont,” he noted, citing this intersection of the dark and the beautiful as a place of particular interest. If that sounds like something you might only find in a dream, well, maybe that’s the point. “The soundtrack is not really about what the Miu Miu girl would be listening to, it’s more something mental, what’s in her head, what she’s thinking at this moment.”
Take a listen to Killing Joy’s “Love Like Blood” below while you click through Miu Miu’s Spring collection and put yourself in a Miu Miu headspace. It’s not a bad place to be.