This past weekend I had the pleasure of DJing a fashion event for a local hair salon called Lunatic Fringe. It was a two-hour fund raiser for the Jayden DeLuca Foundation which benefits children with cardiac diseases. It’s a great cause that I was honored to be a part of.
I’ve done several of these types of events before so I thought I’d share how to DJ a fashion show. I’ll focus specifically on the time BEFORE the runway portion of the night while guests are mingling, because I think that is the most challenging part. Creating a runway set list can be easy as long as you play songs with a steady beat that the models can walk to. The set before the runway event should be unique, interesting and make the guests feel like their part of something special.
First, you need to figure out what type of vibe and overall theme the client is going for. In this case, they wanted a sexy, indie feel with a little pop tinge. I initially thought of artists like Ghostland Observatory, Classixx and Charlie XCX.
Second, you need to understand the demographic of the crowd that will be attending. The owners of the salon are probably in their mid 30’s to early 40’s and are attractive and hip. The stylists are young and hip as well. Since this was a smaller, private event (only 50 tickets sold) I figured there had to be a lot of friends and family that were attending, making the crowd fairly consistent across the board. I was right. That made planning my set list rather easy, because nearly everyone in attendance could appreciate the music I played. Sometimes you’ll get crowds that are all over the map, so you have to mindful of how the music will affect everyone there.
Third, practice your set to ensure that your transitions are smooth and seamless. Your job is to enhance the overall energy and vibe of the room, not detract from it. If the songs you chose aren’t mixing well together and your audio levels are all over the place, the guests will notice. My goal is to make sure people don’t really acknowledge the music I played until the very end of the night. I want the music to be so perfect and the transitions to be so smooth that they don’t realize how good it was until they’re heading out the door. They stop for a second and say to me, “Wow, that music was really good. Thank you so much.”
That’s the ultimate goal; to make everyone happy, especially the people who hired you.
I recorded part of my set from that night, so please feel free to take a listen. I hope you enjoy!
1. Ghostland Observatory “Give Me The Beat”
2. Goldroom “Embrace (MyKill Remix)”
3. RAC “Cheap Sunglasses”
4. Charlie XCX “Boom Clap (Aeroplane Remix)”
5. Louis Vivet “Save Tonight (Eagle Eye Cherry Cover) (Nigel Good Remix)”
6. Robin Thicke “Feel Good (Jean Tonique Remix)”
7. Bag Raiders “Gone Away”
8. Dillon Francis “Without You”