Alexander Wang has always kept a firm grip on emerging musical trends, having previously recruited Diplo, Santigold, and Spank Rock to serve as the face of his brand. Last night he did it again, closing out a runway show for his forthcoming line for H&M with a performance by Missy Elliott and her rising protege and rapper Sharaya J. Missy went through a run of her hits —”Supa Dupa Fly,” “Get Ur Freak On,” and “Work It” included— while Sharaya mixed her regional club sounds with cheeky lyricism on “Banji” and “Shut It Down,” the song she wrote, in part, for Wang’s campaign.
But the soundtrack for the actual runway had a much harder edge. Growling bass boomed through the venue, Harlem’s iconic Armory, as the show opened with a video of his models, decked in Wang’s signature all-black, prepping for a night of street parkour. Logo emblazoned sports-bras, leggings, and boxing gloves were donned before members of the group backflipped through a wall (yes, through) and went bouncing off into the night. As the screen dimmed in the Armory, the instrumental trap stomp that soundtracked the video continued to blare onto the stage.
We recognized Gladiator’s “Weekend” off the bat and decided to Shazam our way through the rest of the show. Grime instrumentals, hardcore-infected trance, and Dominique Young Unique figured into a mix so loud that Tyson Beckford’s pecs seemed to flex in time with the bass on the runway. And though it’s hard to say who put the set together for sure, our money is on Diplo. (Several of the artists are cosigned by his Mad Decent imprint and we saw the DJ lurking behind the turntables long before he came out for a set during the afterparty.) Listen to the songs that soundtracked the show below.
Gladiator – “Weekend”
K9 – “Block N****”
Swisher – “Slot Machine”
Kenny McAuley – “Asylum”
Dominique Young Unique – “Throw It Down”