OutKast. Picture / Supplied.

The Music Inspiring Our Fashion Designers

As fashion constantly looks to the world of music, we ask local designers to name the musician who has inspired them

“It would have to be OutKast, the American hip-hop duo formed in Atlanta in 1992. ATLiens and Aquemini, both released in the 90s, are still on heavy rotation in our studio. I dare anyone to listen to those albums and not feel inspired. The songs are mature and enlightened; the lyrics are full of astute social commentary, humour and sharp storytelling.” 
— Anjali Stewart, Twenty-seven Names

“I have been a huge fan of Nick Cave forever, his style as much as his music. I created an entire collection and a very memorable show [in 2005] around one of his songs, Into My Arms. Beautiful weeping widows who were perversely sexy! I think Nick would have approved, he dresses immaculately in custom-made suits but always retains a dark, dirty edge. Light versus dark, masculine versus feminine, hate versus love, we are fascinated by contradiction.”
— Kate Sylvester

LCD Sound System. A very individual new sound through the 00s that was hard to put into any certain genre. I was DJing and playing LCD a lot through this period and it reminds me of what I saw through this period where I saw sub cultures breaking down. The rockers, rapper and ravers all coming together in one room. This was super inspirational to me as I saw people becoming more individual as they weren’t hiding behind a style of music and they were being themselves. Something we aspire to be with Huffer — not associated to a certain category or put in a box and to be a people’s brand.”
— Steve Dunstan, Huffer

“I love New Zealand band Sunken Seas. The first time I heard them I knew I had to incorporate them into my upcoming show. Their music sums up how I feel about my clothes as the moment; soft and haunting juxtaposed with a harder side.”
— Juliette Hogan

“I’ve always loved Jarvis Cocker’s style. We’ve never been inspired literally by his clothes (although I do adore corduroy and tweed with Cuban heels) but it’s his attitude, of taking something so wrong and making it so right, that I love. That right-amount-of-wrong style is something that’s always been part of our handwriting.”
— Karen Walker

“It would have to be Nick Cave! He has worked with so many different people over the years, from The Birthday Party to Grinderman. He still stays true to himself though, no matter who he is collaborating with. That’s a real artist and idol. Similarly to Dave, I like to think I’ve also stayed true to myself and design aesthetic.”
— Margi Robertson, Nom*D

Leonard Cohen, Nina Simone, Nick Cave, Patti Smith, PJ Harvey, Amy Winehouse, David Bowie, This Mortal Coil. The influence music has on me creatively is difficult to define as it has always been an important part of my world. When we present a collection we love finding the perfect music to tell the story and create the right atmosphere, mood and energy. The soundtrack helps bring that story to life.”
— Elisabeth Findlay, Zambesi

“I don’t think there is anything cooler than 90s PJ Harvey; she’s absolutely a force of nature. I’m a big fan of the Slits and Delta 5 too, I guess they stand out for me because they’re women killing it in traditionally male dominated genres. They inspire me in terms of style but also in attitude. They’re all brave, unique, opinionated and aware.”
— Liz Wilson, Eugenie

“I’m going to go with an oldie but a goodie. Whole Lotta Love by Led Zeppelin. I guess I’m inspired by their sounds as it’s a childhood reference. I also align with the title of the song, a personal philosophy in life is to radiate some love with my friends, family and clients and this approach in life works for me. Our jewellery collections are also inspired by antiques, and Led Zeppelin are antiques at this point.”
— Zoe Williams, Zoe and Morgan

“We listen to Roisin Murphy a heap when we are in design mode — particularly her Overpowered album. The one thing about what we do is that it is always changing — but when we are in the mood for a particular artist, we can get into a bit of a trance and listen to it religiously. Roisin is electronic but also soulful and her voice has an edge that just makes a great soundtrack to design to!”
— Madeleine Harman, Harman Grubisa

“I’ve always loved David Bowie — even naming one of our dogs Bowie after him! Mastering the power of reinvention, Bowie has always had the ability to surprise and there’s an obvious affinity in that with fashion’s ever-changing look. Because of this I’m not sure Bowie will ever go out of style, and that timelessness is always something we try to bring to our designs.”
— Kellie Taylor, Moochi

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