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

Designers have always had their muses, epilepsy 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.

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. 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.

-Kristin Tolbert