Paris Fashion Week is coming up but before plunging head first into a new season, let’s rewind and go back to the sound of the previous one. In The Sound Of The Season, Sarah Joe and André Cymbalista from Jaws studio compiled the best tracks from the playlists of the FW12 shows. Their selection of titles, coming from respectable fashion houses or young designers (Chanel, Hermès, Carven, Altuzarra…) constitutes a sound memory of a season, freezing for an instant the frenetic pace of fashion. To find out more about their project, we met with Sarah Joe, one of the two creative minds behind the project, for a discussion about fashion and music in the digital era.
Can you tell us more about the activities of Jaws studio and the origins of the project?
Jaws studio is a collective centered on the digital. From image to sound, we develop projects for specific clients (especially in the fashion and luxury industry) and ideas of our own like The Sound Of The Season, which is a production from our studio.
We work in the music and fashion industries. The idea of establishing an overview of the current relationship between these two fields came naturally. We wanted to create the sound archive of a season.
Among the hundreds of tracks played during the Fashion Week, how did you select the titles? Was it completely arbitrary?
The selection is totally subjective. We chose titles that we personally liked while trying to reflect the variety of choices made by the music supervisors.
How important is the music of a fashion show?
Essential. The music creates the atmosphere, defines the models’ pace and ideally reflects the spirit of a designer’s collection. The shows are short. Like in the closing credits of a movie, the musical selection adds an intensity to what we see.
The Sound Of The Season also has a pretty specific sound design, with sound recordings from backstage inserted between the tracks. How does it participate in the project?
We wanted to create a sound archive, beyond a plain compilation. We tried to recreate the atmosphere of what one can feel during the fashion week. The sound interludes replace the tracks in their original context.
Now that eveything is digitalized and immaterial, do you sometimes regret the pre-MP3 era?
We are the MP3 generation. I tend to only buy music in this format. But I’ve always had a record player and CDs at home. I think they are two very different ways of consuming music. With the MP3, we no longer listen an album from A to Z. It is a fast-food-like consumption of music. We buy one or two tracks without necessarily listening to the album in its entirety, which is quite unfortunate. We can actually feel this trend in the most recent productions. In the past, albums had to be listened to in a specific order, from the first title to the last. There was a sense of homogeneity. Today, many albums gather tracks with very diverse inspiration sources, they may be the answer to this new track-by-track consumption. iTunes has actually recently forbidden labels to bundle sell their CDs.
We wanted The Sound Of The Season to physically exist. We went through a great deal of effort on the graphics and packaging (designed by Yorgo Tloupas) of the album so that people have a good reason to buy a physical copy of the album rather than just get the digital version. I have a few friends who were surprised that I gave them a CD. The MacBook Air and the new Pros don’t even have CD players…
Which show (and its playlist) really stood out last season?
At Jaws, we are particularly fan of the brand Carven. Their musical choices were also working perfectly with the collection.
What’s currently on repeat on your iPod?
Mostly electro. A few titles: Sambaca by Alien Alien, Gogo (Lulu Rouge remix) by Kura. Last weekend, I listened to the new album by the XX which is great. It is quite nice to see one can create great music and still be enjoyed by the general public. I bet that at least one of their titles will be played during the next fashion week. The answer will be on the volume 2 of TSOTS in january 2013!