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Music on the runway

When the Kurt Cobain number Rape me accompanied demure looking models in distressed, girly dresses for Rajesh Pratap?s show last year at the

india Updated: Apr 09, 2006 17:02 IST

When the Kurt Cobain number Rape me accompanied demure looking models in distressed, girly dresses for Rajesh Pratap’s show last year at the India Fashion Week, it was easy to grasp the story behind the look.

Once considered little more than sonic wallpaper, runway music is now a key element of a fashion show. As one show whips by another, the music is the thing to grab the attention of a sensory-saturated fashion crowd.

At the fashion week, designers will have 30 minutes — or less — to make a lasting impression. "When image and sound are in sync, results are unforgettable," says choreographer Anu Ahuja.

DJ Arjun, a part of Jalebi Cartel, will produce the music for Malini Ramani's show at Lakme Fashion Week (Mumbai) and Tarun Tahilaini at the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week (Delhi). "The designers briefed me on the collection, and then sampled hundreds of scores," says Arjun.

Designer Varun Bahl says he prefers music with vocals. He plans to use Boy George's Karma Chameleon because 'like a chameleon' his collection changes colours. Choreographers Aparna Behl and Tanya Lefebvre have been using Gaurav and Tapan of Midival Punditz for a while now.

Until the 1950s, catwalk shows were silent. But in the 21st century runway music helps tune in to the philosophy and aesthetics of a designer. It also helps models strut their stuff. "Models like the thumpy beat of house music as it’s impossible to mess up the rhythm," explains DJ Rummy who created the music for German designers at IGEDO, Dusseldorf last year.

Some designers go totally offbeat. Miuccia Prada broke the strong beat on most runways when she used a cello piece, so subdued that you could hear the backstage noise. Closer home, designer Ashish Soni likes to experiment. Designer Puja Nayyar goes with "the music I’m listening to when I work on the collection.” She rarely uses a DJ: "After I've decided, I go to somebody who stitches it together."