By Sean Davey
Come October, Fashion Week in New York always promises a flurry of commotion as celebrities, models, designers, and anyone with a Snapchat or Instagram account descends upon Lincoln Center. Though one might expect big names like Carolina Herrera or Marc Jacobs would dominate the conversation, in recent years, the spotlight has turned toward none other than rapper/designer Kanye West. Thanks to his persistent appeals for acceptance within the fashion community and his union with fashion’s other latest person of interest, Kim Kardashian, Kanye manages to draw a bevy of editors, buyers, and fellow designers with each showing. So, a week after the close of ‘fashion month,’ or the series or presentations in New York, London, Paris, and Milan, the questions stands- how did he do?
In the vein of his last showing only six months ago, West unveiled a collection replete with hoodies, bodysuits, stretch pants, and parkas. Even the familiar palette of army green, khaki, tan, and light brown resurfaced; if this show proved anything, it’s that Kanye has an aesthetic he’s sticking to. The soft canvas and denim pieces appeared slightly worn, and were paired with other neutral pieces for a monochromatic, dull effect. The spectacle of the show itself underwhelmed, as West arranged the models in rows based on skin color for a perplexing attempt at social commentary, one that seemingly went over the heads of his audience of fans and reviewers alike. The response among fashion critics was lukewarm at best, with one in particular, Kathy Horyn of New York Magazine, outright slamming the fashion community for glorifying work “they wouldn’t bother with…if it were offered by an unknown.” Twitter’s response was similarly unforgiving, as memes comparing the clothes to Star Wars Jedis, zombies, and homeless people went viral. Kanye’s sartorial efforts have clearly succeeded in capturing the attention of the fashion world and just about everyone else, but if this collection is to go by, he has a long way to go in proving himself worthy of the hype.