On Repeat

Designer Colin LoCascio’s Music Inspiration Includes Sweetie, Vanessa Williams, & More

He debuted his Fall 2022 collection at NYFW.

On Repeat is a music series where NYLON asks our favorite creatives — designers, artists, and more — about the songs they can't stop playing while they work. You're going to want to add these to your playlists and streaming platforms ASAP.

Born and bred in Queens, New York, Colin LoCascio has always kept the liveliness of the outer boroughs at the very forefront of his designs. Since making his official debut back in 2019, the designer has quickly became known for his eccentric and well-beyond wacky creations. So it comes as no surprise that his music taste takes on just as much color and vibrance as his designs.

“Music helps me activate and enter manufactured worlds I design and I really value its help throughout my design process when building collections,” he tells NYLON. Inspired by the those living outside of — but always traveling to — the city, LoCascio takes on a grittier approach to his Fall 2022 ready-to-wear collection, which he showcased during New York Fashion Week on Tuesday, Feb. 15. The clothes give a cheeky nod to the bridge-and-tunnel crowd during South London’s clubbing era circa the late ‘80s and well into the early ‘90s, incorporating LoCascio’s signature kitschy yet super stylish aesthetic, from multicolored fleece jackets and tinsel sweaters to ruffled micro-mini skirts, and more.

“Fall 2022 is designed around the idea of bridge-and-tunnel gals. Having been born and raised in Queens, I always design for the outer-borough girls — the girls with flair and pizazz,” LoCascio explains. “I looked to my favorite bridge-and-tunnel ladies from TV: Adriana from The Sopranos, Betty Suarez from Ugly Betty, and of course, Fran Fine from The Nanny. Each character has her own defined style and I was interested in mixing the sexy, the quirky, and the absurd into this season’s collection.”

Courtesy of Colin LoCascio
Courtesy of Colin LoCascio

But in order to even create such a collection, LoCascio shares the music that helps him get into the right creative space. “Music plays such an important role to me because it really helps initially start to build and create a state of mind for the season,” he says. “Music is something that I use as a tool to re-enter and re-access a particular thought or state of mind throughout the design process even after a great deal of time has passed.”

Ahead, LoCascio shares the songs that have inspired his work and new designs for NYLON’s latest edition of “On Repeat.”

“Thabong” - Frankie Francis Bubblegum Dub

“Just an overall banger. I listened to it a lot while designing the collection when trying to channel bridge-and-tunnel youth, leaving their suburban homes on Friday night and heading into the local city to dance the night away to music like this. Sweat, cigarettes, and Jack and Cokes.”

“Les Fleurs” - Minnie Riperton

“I love this song and I listen to it a lot while designing every season, it just feels so whimsical and romantic. It really helps me picture color, and I listen to this song a lot when selecting colors at the beginning of the season.”

“Tap In” - Saweetie

“Honestly needs no explaining. I listened to this song a lot when I was designing the more edgy pieces within the Fall 2022 collection. I wanted to have a grittier approach to this season and I feel like a baddie whenever listening to this song, so I listened to it a lot during the sketch phase.”

“Slippery People” - The Staple Singers

“I recently discovered this song right around the time I started designing the collection, and I just love the beat and I especially love the harmony of the female singers. 2:57 is one of my favorite parts of the song.”

“Are You Ready For Love?” - Elton John

“Recently re-discovering Elton’s discography and this one has become one of my favorites!”

“Groove Thang” - Zhané

“Zhané is an all-time favorite and this is one of my favorites. I listen to this vinyl album all the time, perfect for a Sunday morning.”

“La forêt” - Lescop

“Super dreamy and whimsical. Love this song, and I listen to it a lot during the technical process of the collection, which isn’t my favorite so this song always puts me in a good mood.”

“Do You Love What You Feel” - Rufus & Chaka Khan

“Another song that I listen to a lot designing. I started listening to it in Spring 2022 and I’ve kept it going with Fall 2022, as well.”

“Lost In Music - 1984 Bernard Edwards & Nile Rodgers Remix” - Sister Sledge

“Love this song, it really transports me when listening to it.”

“Save The Best For Last” - Vanessa Williams

“With all of my Ugly Betty research, I learned of Vanessa Williams’ music career and I love this song. It just brings back nostalgia when listening. It also reminds me of the kissing scenes in teen rom-com movies in all of the best ways!”

See more of Colin LoCascio’s Fall 2022 ready-to-wear collection, below.

Photos Courtesy of Colin LoCascio