Are you dirt poor or ugly as hell? Body all weird and bulging all over the place? Fashion make you feel all insecure and incompetent? Don’t worry—you can still get down and participate at Reykjavík Fashion Festival, as it has a most excellent music programme that ought to satisfy even the most fashion challenged amongst us! The electro-heavy programme is packed with exciting acts to float your boat for the duration of the festival, especially if you’re into dancing and fucking various ailments away.
Indeed, the bill features top local talent such as Bloodgroup, Sykur and Retro Stefson alongside Ms. ‘fatherfucker’ herself, Peaches! We called up London expat Nick Knowles, one of the music programme’s organisers, to learn more about it.
Nick, by the way, worked for many years marketing the UK’s biggest music magazines. He first got involved in the Icelandic music scene when he brought Kerrang! over to Airwaves back in 2003 and has over the years developed a close relationship with the Icelandic creative community. “It was just a matter of time before I finally made the move to what had become my second home. I quit my job at the end of last year to pursue music and fashion projects here, when I heard about RFF I jumped at the opportunity to get involved.”
You’ve just announced an ambitious music program for the Reykjavík Fashion Festival. How does the music angle play into the Fashion Festival—do you believe the two entities are closely connected and if so, how?
Absolutely! Fashion and music have had an often inextricably linked common heritage and common attitude. There has always been a mutual influence between fashion and music, after all both are rooted in performance and standing out, whether it’s on stage or on the street. There are a number of times over the decades when the crossover has been particularly strong. Obvious examples being Vivienne Westwood’s punk styling, the New Romantics of the ‘80s and the grunge-inspired catwalk shows of the early ‘90s.
Does the programme play with the fashion angle—do the musicians involved have any connections with the world of fashion? Are there ways in which you’ll try and link up the two entities?
In particular, Peaches has a very strong connection with fashion. Championing a number of up-and-coming designers, her electrifying shows have become notable for an impressive number of costume changes. Don’t be too surprised if you see the output of notable Icelandic designers becoming part of her show.
The programme leans heavily on electro and club bangers. Are those styles of music more connected with the fashion world than, say, RAWK or death metal?
Fashion’s link to music has always had a bias towards the experimental, whether it’s the original punk movement, ‘80s electro or the latest Pete Doherty-style indie. A lot of the fashionable side of music, particularly in London, is linked with art colleges with a close and tangible link to fashion. There is certainly a bias in the fashion world towards electro, but I wouldn’t say that it’s exclusive. Proto-indie band the Velvet Underground were of course Andy Warhol’s house band at the Factory—the melting-pot of cutting edge music, fashion, art and film in 60s New York.
Do you see the RFF becoming an annual event? How do you see it evolving?
Definitely. As an outsider, I’ve always considered Iceland to be an extraordinary country. The amount of creative talent here is remarkable and I could see RFF becoming a showcase for this talent across the creative spectrum. RFF becoming an essential event, not just for the international press, but also for the refined and discerning international traveller.