Even if you’re not in the industry, chances are you probably know about New York Fashion Week — possibly even wasted a good chunk of time on social media stalking celebrity and designer accounts to see some of the crazy clothes they’re wearing or shows they’re attending. But here’s a secret you may not know if you haven’t attended: the music can often be just as important as the fashion.

  Don’t get me wrong, the designers, the clothing, and the models are the main event, but the performances between shows — and the music that accompanies the models as they strut down the runway — are equally as integral to the show itself. It aids in evoking the atmosphere the designer wants their line to reflect. As New York Fashion week kicked off Thursday, Feb. 8, Style Fashion Week and the designers showcased proved just that.

  Before the first line took the stage, the mood was set thanks to the experienced fingers of Matthew Whitaker. A 16-year-old piano prodigy and New Jersey native, Whitaker took his place behind the piano, donning an iridescent royal blue suit and black shades. He’s been referred to as “the next Stevie Wonder” and some comparisons are obvious — Whitaker himself is a blind, African American male — but it’s the finesse of his fingers dancing along the keys and his evident passion as he gets lost in a song that drive these comparisons home.

  Whitaker shone as he performed his own arrangement of Julie Andrew’s “My Favorite Things” from The Sound Of Music. An equally upbeat rendition, it perfectly led into Malan Breton’s showing — gorgeous stylings of gowns and suits that are bound to make the list of someone’s favorite things.

  The music remained a highlight throughout, and varied by designer. While brands like Lotus Threads played dance-laced tracks like Kygo’s “Firestone ft. Conrad,” Bahmardi opted to utilize a talented live cello and violin duo (sneak a closer peep of that crazy violin above!) — who performed over tracks such as Adele’s “Rolling In The Deep” and the Bruno Mars’ hit, “Locked Out of Heaven.”

  Later in the night, Amanda Holley hit the runway to perform tracks, like her single “Feenin,’” boasting a silk bra and shorts, with a black lace kimono. A Newark-native and New York transfer, Holley’s powerhouse vocals hypnotized the crowd as a flock of male and female dancers put on a gorgeous, fluid show along the runway behind her.

  If this was what Day One had to offer, we can’t wait to witness Day Two.

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