Chromatics with Karl Lagerfeld.
Photo: via Echo Park Records Instagram
Since they first hit the scene back in 2001, Portland’s dream pop quartet Chromatics have won a cult following for their genre-hopping, electronic-inflected sound. But who knew that the group’s loyal fanbase ALSO includes one Mr. Karl Lagerfeld?! The Kaiser (who clearly has amazing music taste) recently handpicked the band to soundtrack his Chanel Spring/Summer13 fashion show, and boy, they delivered. Dressed in duds from the French fashion house (duh), members Ruth Radelet, Adam Miller, Nat Walker, and Johnny Jewel performed live at the Grand Palais, filling the epic venue with their pulsating romantic set. Now they’ve just released a new video for their single “Looking For Love” that’s stocked with makeup, models, and gorgeous behind-the-scenes footage of the show. It’s the perfect lo-fi blend of fashion meets music, and we had to find out more. So we tracked down the band to get the back story on just HOW this incredible couture relationship came about. According to Johnny (who also performs in electro-duo Glass Candy), Karl and the band go way back. “Karl’s been using Glass Candy & Chromatics songs on the runway since 2007, so there’s definitely a history with us there,” he said.
After some of Karl’s crew saw Chromatics in Paris over the summer, they invited them to perform at the runway show, and the rest is history. But whereas not everyone was lucky enough to catch the band in person a couple of weeks ago (sigh), at least we can relive the moment with the new “Looking For Love” music video. For Johnny, the decision to use the backstage shots for the song clip came about spontaneously after seeing footage from collaborators Oko Ebombo and Alberto Rossini. “Oko was in town and brought a few cameras. Alberto Rossini was there too, and the two of them just shot for two days straight,” he remembered. “We weren’t planning on doing a video, but once we saw the mass of footage they came up, we wanted to share it.” We’re glad they did! Besides the fact that we’re always down to get an up-close-and-personal glimpse at the label’s bangles, baubles, and 3-D cutouts, the song itself is just plain good.
Given the Chromatics’ long-standing relationship with style- their sounds have also been featured in Phillip Lim’s show- this is one of many collabs to come. After all, fashion and music have more in common than you’d think. As Johnny put it best, “We’re conceptual in the studio like designers are on the runway. We share that same lust for fantasy.”