Charlotte Ronson Talks Playlists, Everyday Clothing


Each Fashion Week, we look forward to Charlotte Ronson’s show: we like the clothes, we like the music, we like the vibe. Ronson usually shows on a weekend night, and her backstage is always chill. Her longtime pal Russell Simmons stops by, and so does Sky Ferreira (on Friday night we also spotted Gina Gershon, Nikki Reed, and Jessica White in the front row). Although their styles diverge (Charlotte wore shorts and suede ankle boots; Samantha wore jeans and kicks), together the twin sisters form a yin-yang of complementary work. For Fall 2012, the designer sent sleek knits in camel, grey, and plum down the runway—several reinterpreted alpine patterns with a modern twist—while signaling a newly sophisticated stage in her young urban woman’s evolution. Samantha’s complex, ephemeral, badass mash-up of Sleigh Bells and M.I.A. kept it downtown.

“It’s a modern wardrobe for a real girl,” Charlotte told us backstage. “She’s very matchy-matchy, polished, more ladylike; she likes to match her hat to her gloves to her bags to her tights; a clean, refined look.” Ronson just launched her first handbag line. “Also there was the retro ski look that was very Switzerland après-ski. The leather caps and jackets gave it a little more tough look.”

“I played The Dead Weather, Sleigh Bells, MNDR, PJ Harvey, M83’s ‘Midnight City,’ M.I.A.’s “20 Dollar.” I was trying to keep it a little more current this season. I also played me [Half Awake (Meltdown) from her new album, Chasing the Reds],” said Samantha. “Charlotte is really influenced by the ’70s, but I was like, we’re not doing ’70s again. I wanted to do something that we hadn’t done yet. She told me her inspiration was the modern, strong woman. So I picked really strong female vocalists. I went on a little iTunes treasure hunt in the studio the other day. I found a lot of cool stuff, like the Dum Dum Girls, that I was surprised I didn’t have.”

Sam’s style (other than raiding her sister’s studio) consists of “stuff that’s comfortable and easy to wear. When I find something I like, I buy five of them. I hate to shop and literally haven’t been shopping in years.”

Charlotte, of course, is immersed in clothing all day. A typical day begins with “walking my dog, going through emails as I go. Then I head over the office for meetings; I go through samples that come in, maybe do fittings.” She likes to sketch in the office, as she’s surrounded by fabrics. “Sometimes I go the gym after work. Then I either go home or have dinner with friends or family. I like to go out but sometimes it’s nice to stay cozy at home, watching movies or TV, especially early in the week. I’ll catch up on Breaking Bad. ” Her recent film picks were The Artist and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Playing on her iPhone at the gym is “my sister’s CD; honestly, I’m not just saying that! And Amy Winehouse, Kanye, Coldplay.”

Now that her album has been well-received, we wondered if Sam has ever thought about working on movie soundtracks. “It would take a lot of time and I travel so much,” Samantha said (she DJ’d on New Year’s Eve at Lavo in Vegas, where she spins once a month for Gallery and Chateau). “But I’d like to do it one day. I’ve thought about doing some music supervision. It would be really fun.”