A look why style and sound will always make for a perfect duet…

Designers have always had their muses, site as all artists do, but most of the time we assume that for a fashion designer their muse must be their favorite supermodel or the celebrity who wears their designs on the red carpet. However in today’s creative environment where lifestyle is all encompassing, designers find their muses outside of fashion, even beyond the red carpet, and very often those muses come directly from the music world. Like we saw with Karl Lagerfeld and underground hip-hop rebel Azaelia Banks, larger than life punk goddess Beth Ditto and British songstress Lily Allen, each of whom prove that the pairings can be fresh and exciting, not to mention unexpected. Those three ladies are far from the only musicians who have served to inspire and influence fashion.

It doesn’t shock me that at New York Fashion Week the music you will hear while the runway is being stomped are often alternative electro-pop bands you may have never heard of. However, you might be surprised by who is inspiring some of today’s hottest designers like Derek Lam. Not only did Lam go with the classic folksiness of Joni Mitchell, she was also heard on the runways of Chloé and Valentino, and at 71 Mitchell was chosen as the face of Hedi Slimane’s current campaign for Saint Laurent, cementing her status as a major musical muse for Spring 2015. All of the fresh-faced, minimal make-up, wash’n’go hair, delicately printed silks, maxi dresses with bell-shapes or poet sleeves, brushed suede and piles of jewelry owe a debt to Mitchell’s inimitable style. Another icon from rock’s golden age — and my personal man-crush everyday — whose presence could be felt on the runway was none other than Jimi Hendrix. Gucci, Dries Van Noten, Saint Laurent and Tommy Hilfiger all had Jimi jamming on their runway soundtracks, and his iconic blend of draped scarves, patterned shirts, military jackets and skinny, hip-grazing pants has made a major comeback.

Whatever your musical preference, there will always be something for everyone. Fashion crosses all borders and boundaries and it only makes perfect sense that the industries taste makers would mirror that with an appropriate soundtrack. If ever there were a perfect duet, the melody woven by fashion and music is it.

This season showed a wide array of musical muses, genres and styles. Here are some of my favorite picks from other artists featured on this season’s runways.

-Kristin Tolbert

It’s not surprising that one of the most popular fabrics of the 1970s is now trending the racks – even in warmer weather. When styling suede this season, reach for effortless pieces like a suede jacket. Keep it simple. Throw it over a solid color tee or collared shirt. This is the perfect style for spring suede. Don’t be afraid to explore color options for your suede jacket, but keep in mind it’s easier to conceal any blemishes or marks with most neutral color suede. This is important because suede is vulnerable to a little wear and tear, especially in wet weather.

Rule number one for caring for suede will always be to treat and seal it, no matter the garment. There are multiple products on the market, sold at department stores and some drugstores, which will treat your suede, keep it strong, and resistant to dirt and water. You only have to reapply it every couple of months.

If for some reason your suede garment gets wet or you spill a liquid on it before having a chance to treat it, try patting it dry to the best of your abilities and covering the wet area with talcum powder. Let the powder sit for a day, and then dusting off the powder and brushing the leather back to life. If you feel as though your suede is getting dull, flattened, or just is starting to look lifeless – there’s hope. It’s simple; just quickly steam your garment for a few seconds (if you don’t have a steamer, try hanging your garment in the bathroom while you shower – making sure it doesn’t actually get wet), and then use a soft toothbrush to gently brush your suede back to life as it cools down.

It’s a classic, stylish statement for any man, but suede can be a tricky fabric. It takes the right styling to make it spring appropriate, and a little bit of upkeep to keep in looking (and feeling) great.

-Dalton Primeaux