What Happens At Opening Ceremony's First RZA-Scored Show Does Not Stay At The Show

RZA during the Opening Ceremony Fall 2017 show
Serichai Traipoom

RZA during the Opening Ceremony Fall 2017 show.

Los Angeles’ fashion festival Made LA returned for its second annual year last Friday at L.A. LIVE Event Deck next to The Staples Center last night (June 9). And while attendees could purchase products from Maison Kitsune, A$AP Ferg’s Traplord, and Wiz Khalifa’s Taylor Gang—whose line will hosted its first fashion show there Saturday night—at the deck’s Shop Small at MADE LA retail market, the main event on Friday was Opening Ceremony’s first Los Angeles show. 

What seemed to be a fairly ordinary show began after both industry elites and style fans got to their seats. Opening Ceremony’s designers and founders Carol Lim and Humberto Leon titled the evening “A Modern Western,” making the stage a desert with cardboard cactuses shaped in letters that spelled the brand's cult name. Models strutted out in plaid dresses, velour tracksuits, and black thigh-high boots. 

But in less than 10 minutes, the basic portion of the night wrapped and a true performance was revealed. A story pitting characters Hillary and CeCe against each other was told by Wu-Tang Clan rhymer and producer RZA, who scored the show. Once buddies, Hillary’s modeling career took off faster than CeCe’s. The latter’s jealously fueled her to get the “glow” Hillary has. 

A KungFu brawl played out in front of the crowd with models suddenly doing backflips and throwing wild punches, only ceasing when the two realized that their competition and hatred for each other was only benefitting photographers and their modeling agency. Back to being besties, Hillary and CeCe kill the agency boss and mosey off into the sunset. 

“They approved it and then the stunt team had to rehearse to it," RZA, who’s helped score Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill films, told Billboard. “But it didn’t work that way.” Opening Ceremony came to him with the storyline already in place and, needing to account for human error and that those models might not be as agile as professional dancers, he whipped up the music for the short play in roughly two weeks. 

"Once I realized that it couldn't work programmed,  I knew I could do it [the music] in the moment.”  So RZA played everything live. "I was octopussing to be honest,” he says with a laugh. “I was on my piano, my MPC [drum pad], my laptop. I was an octopus. I kind of was zoning out.” 

The collection is now available for presale here.