Jill-of-All-Trades Mandy Coon Previews Her Spring Music

Published September 4, 2012

Model, DJ, and downtown designer darling: there’s not much in the realm of “cool” that Mandy Coon hasn’t conquered. What you might not know is that the edgy Texas native is also downright outdoorsy. In fact, there have been elements of nature in almost all of her collections (remember the jellyfish theme from spring 2011, the moth motifs from fall 2012, and her signature Bunny Bag?). So for spring 2013, she’s combined her love of electro beats and Mother Earth in a series of prints. The designer figured that music, like nature, is all about patterns and numerical sequences, so she decided to base her spring prints off of sound waves and MIDI files (a high-tech industry term that stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface—clearly, Miss Coon knows her stuff). “Music is a big part of my life, so, for one of the prints, I used the sound wave of a song and for the other, I took the MIDI of the song—MIDI files allow instruments and computers to communicate with each other—and manipulated it,” explains Coon. But the designer didn’t simply snatch some songs off of iTunes. Rather, she asked close pal Pontus Winnberg (of Miike Snow) if she could borrow one of his jams.

The musician was happy to lend a helping hand and wrote a song just for Coon’s collection. Winnberg’s custom sound waves are the basis of Coon’s prints, and the new tune will be played during her show on Sept. 10.

“After I thought about making a print based on MIDI files and sound waves, I started asking my friends in bands to give me MIDI files to use. Pontus is a friend, so naturally, I thought of him. He went one step further and made something for me that sounds good and looks nice as a MIDI file. It feels so personal and it really adds a lot to the collection,” says Coon. The designer gave us a sneak peek at the mathematical formation of the print (pictured above), which will both appear on her fabric and be translated into laser-cut silks and leathers. Butterflies will also be a feature of the collection—not the most obvious combination, but if there’s one thing Coon has mastered, it’s fusing the delicate with the unexpected to make something that hits all the right notes.