Kanye West, the musical genius (his words, not mine), opened New York fashion week on Thursday afternoon with a show that couldn’t have been less about clothes if it tried. True, the main focus of the experience was to launch West’s new album ‘The Life Of Pablo’ (no, we don’t know either. Picasso? Escobar? Some waiter he met on holiday?), but the most memorable fashion moment wasn’t to do with any of the items on show.
Rather, it was that both Caitlyn and Kendall Jenner were wearing identical cream, ribbed, ripped knitted Balmain dresses. Interesting, the family all sat in the third row (the THROW?) but perhaps that was just because they were more easy to see from that elevated position. Like some kind of royal family. I mean, what’s the point of a fashion show if you can’t get a decent photograph of the Kardashians?
With an audience of 20,000 in Madison Square Gardens and hundreds of models in a set resembling a refugee camp (classy idea, Kanye), I don’t suppose one could be expected to take in the clothes. But anyone with eyesight good enough would have seen a sea of hoodies, sweatshirts and leotards in earthy tones of beige, yellow and orange.
Naomi Campbell and Veronica Webb also made an appearance in black catsuits with holes in (How Zoolander. One word: Derelicte.) paired with mink coats. So it wasn’t immediately apparent whether the clothes were inspiring, wearable, beautiful, commercial, or indeed anything else collections are usually described as by the fashion press. But that’s not the point, is it?
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You might have guessed by now that I’m not Kanye West’s biggest fan, but he certainly knows how to spark attention and get people talking, and without Thursday’s groundbreaking performance - because it was groundbreaking: the scale, the album launch, the fact that all the models were of colour - I certainly wouldn’t have taken the time to consider his collection of leisurewear in so much depth.
Turns out the clothes are OK. Certainly not beautiful or inspiring, but definitely commercial and wearable. It’s just a shame that they’re the last thing anyone is talking about.