'Post-show, the same questions go unanswered. If we separate the arrogance from the there a fashion designer here? Is this where fashion is going; the work of talented yet faceless designers presented by a celebrity big name? Kanye has his work cut out for him with the press if he plans to present for Fall-Winter 2012/13. No amount of air kisses from supermodels and Kanye’s fan-base hungry fashion friends will compensate for the headline by The Telegraph’s Lisa Armstrong, ‘Stick to the day job…Kanye West’s Paris Fashion Week debut was rap with a capital-C’.  [caption id="attachment_2032" align="aligncenter" width="320" caption="Mmm..a vagina-boob cut-out dress."][/caption] This is what I had to say in summation of Kanye West's debut in Paris for Spring 2012 last September. The only person we've seen wearing his designs was f*cked paid to do so. The ugliness of those shoes know no bounds, nor did the chldishness of his fur backpacks from SS12. [caption id="attachment_2027" align="aligncenter" width="320" caption="Kanye thinks bigger for Fall 2012. Bigger muff bags that is."][/caption] For Fall 2012 Kanye presented a big show, something he does well, with rehashed ideas, something he also does well, but the real vision he brings to his music and videos was lacking. The show felt like a music video. The venue was the very warehouse Alber Elbaz celebrated his 10th anniversary with Lanvin and showed for Fall only days before (let the riding of coat tails commence). Kanye certainly knows how to put on a show, no one argues with that -  - pumping music, marching hot girls with black eyes and speeding go karts. But when it came to the collection itself we saw slim, cosmopolitan, leather-clad silhouettes (very New York Fashion Week, just sayin') and reruns of the ideas that got praise from the fashion press for Spring 2012: fur bags, leather jackets, gladiator strap detailing. [caption id="attachment_2029" align="aligncenter" width="320" caption="That's A LOT of boot."][/caption] For a man who refers to himself, to the point of nausea, as an artist and wows his music audience with cool innovation and creativity, his fashion adventures are far from as interesting as they should be. 20 looks, leather on every girl, plenty of fur. It was fine. All wearable clothes but one still gets the sense that, and I quote myself from my review of his previous collection in September: 'He brought nothing new to the plate. There was no clear individual creative vision but a fashion collection by numbers - a representation of current trends and innovations by existing designers'. [caption id="attachment_2030" align="aligncenter" width="320" caption="This sheer shouldered look had a '20s sensibility."][/caption] His interesting looks were those that referenced the '80s and in some respects the '20s. [caption id="attachment_2031" align="aligncenter" width="320" caption="Gatsby does Saturday detention as Molly Ringwald."][/caption] The press is rightly pointing out that this collection is better made and fit, well edited and more cohesive than Kanye's previous outing in Paris. My issue is that I'm not getting the sense of a love of fashion, but a love of the limelight and populating a front row with WHY-LIST celebrities P Diddy and Kim Kardashian to boost his ego. West's second-to-last look had 'SuperGOOP, CALL ME' written all over it. [caption id="attachment_2033" align="aligncenter" width="320" caption="A SuperGOOP day look - Gwyneth could wear this down to the macrobiotic greengrocers."][/caption] Kanye's music is about reinterpeting existing 'art' as motifs. His fashion exploits are tending toward the referential and still lack any real vision beyond the staging. It doesn't bode well that no one is gunning for him and there is by now many a drafted slating review for his next collection ready to go for next September. I might just copy this review and replace Fall 2012 with Spring 2013, not out of laziness but as an homage to the self-dubbed 'voice of this generation'.

About Aisling O'Connor

Aisling is an Irish fashion, pop culture and lifestyle writer whose work can be seen in Harpers Bazaar, The Atlantic, The Daily Mail and The Independent's Irish edition and many others. With a unique sartorial perspective, she strives to translate high fashion and street style into accessible looks - and savage often ridiculous celebrity stylings as a matter of public service.
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  1. THE BOHOMOTH says:

    This review is sheer genius. Don’t ever leave me, Shiny

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