Ever since its spike in popularity during March of 2020, TikTok has been an unavoidable force in the fashion industry. Users will post runway compilations, looks inspired by certain designers, styling content, and much more. Many of these posts are set to trendy songs that align with the content they are presenting, and these songs become synonymous with these fashion trends. In the Spring/Summer 2023 Fashion Week season, for one of the first times, these songs heard on TikTok began to be played by designers as models walked the runway.
Christian Cowan's Trending Music Selection
Christian Cowan's Spring/Summer 2023 runway show showcased models walking to the trending song on TikTok, B.O.T.A. (Baddest Of Them All) by Eliza Rose & Interplanetary Criminal. At the end of the show, the final song was another choice from TikTok's library of viral music, a mash up version of Childish Gambino's Do Ya Like and Home's Resonance. The looks presented on the runway were very bright and mesmerizingly voluminous. There were heavy 80's influences on Cowan's color selections, and a modernized version of Y2K influence on silhouettes. The runway looks paired with the on-trend music engendered a feel of futuristic nostalgia.
Music selection has always been such an integral part of fashion show production— as a selection of songs that improperly fits the styles that the models strut in can offset the dynamic and fluid feel of a show. Cowan's music selection for his Spring/Summer 2023 show was a bold choice, but a choice that paid off. We can't help but anticipate seeing what pairing of fashion and music Cowan will send down his runway in the upcoming season.
Fendace's Referential Music Selection
Versace and Fendi's collaboration in 2022 nearly broke the internet. Kim Jones and Donatella Versace did not disappoint, especially on the musical selection. Drake's song, Way 2 Sexy was used in the "Fendace" runway show. The song has trended on multiple social media platforms including TikTok, as well as charting on the Billboard Hot 100. The truly genius thing about this song selection was not its relevancy on social media platforms, but instead the way in which it perfectly intertwined with the theme of this collection. The collection was a nod to the 1990s being sent down the runway in the 2020s. The music selection was a 2020s Drake song that makes a nod to the 1990s by sampling the song I'm Too Sexy by Right Said Fred, making it the perfect choice.
This limited collection is a memorable part of fashion history, and the song choices made by the creative directors ensured that the clothing references tied in with the musical references in order to produce a cohesive collection that will never be forgotten.
The usage of trending music on the runways has seen a noticeable uptick in recent years. While it strays from traditionality and existing precedents in the fashion industry, the song selections by both Christian Cowan and the creative directors behind Fendace tied in perfectly with the runway presentations. When applied to the proper collection with the proper timing, a recognizable song can make an already memorable look book unforgettable.