Kanye West Fashion Show Intrigues and Disappoints

“I don’t want to disrespect designers by calling myself a designer. I just think I have a vision of something that I want to do.” Kanye to Style.com in 2015 (in reference to his Adidas show last week).

“I am God’s vessel. But my greatest pain in life is that I will never be able to see myself perform live.” -Kanye on VH1 Storytellers in 2009

Amanda: I’ve never quite understood why Kanye West thinks he is God’s gift to man. He acts like everything he does is perfect, and to me, he doesn’t know a thing about fashion. Take, for example, his styling of Kim Kardashian for the Grammys. All I could think when I saw her was, ‘Why are you wearing a super expensive robe?’ When I heard Kanye was coming out with a collaboration with Adidas, I was not that thrilled.

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NEW YORK, NY – FEBRUARY 12: Models walk the runway at the adidas Originals x Kanye West YEEZY SEASON 1 fashion show during New York Fashion Week Fall 2015 at Skylight Clarkson Sq on February 12, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for adidas)

Addison: Really!? I’ve been a huge fan of Kanye since middle school, so hearing of the collaboration had me giddy like a schoolgirl. His dedication to his “craft” — or whatever you want to call it — is unparalleled. With each release of an album, he completely redefines his style. “College Dropout” established his presence as a solid rapper in the industry with a distinct voice and passion not many share. “Late Registration” followed and proved his genius-capability in production. In it he seamlessly blended samples from an eclectic pool of sources and integrated them with classical orchestration, synthesizer and a pounding bass. Kanye pays attention to all the minute details, and it pays off in his music. That’s why I was so eager when I heard news of his affiliation with Adidas. If he could harness the same dedication and passion he has for his music in his designs, this would be a show to remember. I want to hear what you have to say, though, before I get into how I feel. What did you think?

Amanda: The whole family was in attendance at the runway show, and I’m pretty sure that Kanye, once again, dressed Kim. What on earth was she wearing? And why did Adidas allow Kanye to even do this collaboration? Kim was seen backstage wearing pieces from the collection which included a bra that didn’t fit her, and multiple pairs of brown and nude tights. That’s not fashion, that’s a ballerina’s costume … but worse.

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NEW YORK, NY – FEBRUARY 12: Kim Kardashian backstage at the adidas Originals x Kanye West YEEZY SEASON 1 fashion show during New York Fashion Week Fall 2015 at Skylight Clarkson Sq on February 12, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for adidas)
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NEW YORK, NY – FEBRUARY 12: (L-R) Kendall Jenner, Khloe Kardashian, and Kris Jenner attend the adidas Originals x Kanye West YEEZY SEASON 1 fashion show during New York Fashion Week Fall 2015 at Skylight Clarkson Sq on February 12, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for adidas)
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NEW YORK, NY – FEBRUARY 12: Models walk the runway at the adidas Originals x Kanye West YEEZY SEASON 1 fashion show during New York Fashion Week Fall 2015 at Skylight Clarkson Sq on February 12, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Fernanda Calfat/Getty Images for adidas)

 

Addison: I’d have to agree with that, actually. Kim’s jacket, I must admit, looked fantastic, but the ultra-sheer tight-suit and map-fitting bra looked unfinished to me. The collection as a whole was painfully minimal, and not in the revered sense that established Frank Stella and Ellsworth Kelly as brute forces in modern art. The dingy colors, ripped sweatshirts and basic styling reminded me of a post-apocalyptic dystopia along the lines of The Hunger Games. All that aside, I thought the presentation of the clothing was phenomenal. The showspace, lighting and music selection (in which Kanye premiered the first track of his upcoming album, featuring Sia and Vic Mensa) were impeccable.

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NEW YORK, NY – FEBRUARY 12: Models on the runway at the adidas Originals x Kanye West YEEZY SEASON 1 fashion show during New York Fashion Week Fall 2015 at Skylight Clarkson Sq on February 12, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for adidas)

“I wouldn’t consider myself to be a designer in that way, I just want to propose a solution to problems that me and my wife and my friends face. I sit with a group of problem solvers and say, “In this situation, I would like to have this.” –Kanye via an interview with Dirk Standen of style.com

Amanda: Admittedly, I love the fact that Kanye used bodies of all shapes and sizes in his presentation. The fashion industry is slowly showcasing body types other than those belonging to the “typical” model, and it is very refreshing. I did love the presentation of the show. Kanye understands aesthetics and how to showcase the image he is trying to display. I agree with you about the reference to The Hunger Games. I wish the pieces had a little more time put into them. They seem unfinished and rushed to me, but then again, who knows what he is actually going to release to the public.

According to his style.com interview, he isn’t positive about prices of the pieces yet either, but he did mention he wants to make them as inexpensive as possible.

Addison: Which should really be praised. The show celebrated diversity, which is not a thing fashion shows and presentations as high-profile as this are known for. The longer I scan through the show, the more it grows on me. For someone as obsessed with spectacle as Kanye, his show was surprisingly toned-down and accessible. The clothes are simple, sure, but they can be worn by almost anyone. Where most brands strive to isolate a specific “girl” to sell to, Kanye West x Adidas Originals somehow managed to put out a show that defies gender, race and culture while still maintaining a focused, crisp and oddly futuristic aesthetic.

Kanye is starting to step off the pedestal he has infamously constructed for himself. In a style.com interview, he said, “I don’t want to disrespect designers by calling myself a designer. I just think I have a vision of something that I want to do.” Contrast that to what he told his audience in his VH1 Storytellers special in 2009 — “I am God’s vessel. But my greatest pain in life is that I will never be able to see myself perform live” — and you’ve got an interesting progression. Kanye has always been talented, but in the past he has let his pride overshadow that and allowed the media to paint him as a pompous asshole. His collaboration with Adidas Originals is a triumphant step in the right direction for Kanye, Adidas and fashion at large. We can only hope they keep it up.

Amanda: One last thought — where on earth am I going to wear a full body nylon suit? If you ever figure that one out, let me know.

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NEW YORK, NY – FEBRUARY 12: Models walk the runway at the adidas Originals x Kanye West YEEZY SEASON 1 fashion show during New York Fashion Week Fall 2015 at Skylight Clarkson Sq on February 12, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Fernanda Calfat/Getty Images for adidas)

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