Kanye West and his brand Yeezy has been off the radar for some time now but is back in full swing with his new collection. Showing off beat at Paris Fashion Week, Yeezy Season 8 walked the runway after a nearly three year hiatus, outside the lit up dome of the Espace Niemeyer, the headquarters of the French Communist Party. But the celebrations for Kanye started the day before the runway, as he brought his gospel choir to the eclectic 10th Arrondissement of Paris at the Theatre des Bouffes de Nord. It's rumored the choir was also supposed to perform at the official runway show, however due to the damp weather and fears that it would affect their voices, plan B was devised last minute. Instead, Kanye sent out around thirty of his crew members in rental cars to blast their horns at intervals to add to the very real feeling of being in the heart of a bustling city.
One of the most exciting parts of an invitation to Fashion Week is the extreme and over the top ways designers curate their invitations and Yeezy Season 8 was no exception. The official invitation came from “the West family” and proceeded to offer “a little piece of our home in Cody Wyoming.” During his break from the fashion industry, Kanye has taken to social media to share behind the scenes of where he spends a lot of his time these days, at his ranch in Cody. Upon opening the mysterious presentation enveloped in a canvas bag, invitees were greeted with a small envelope that simply read, “ One dozen rattlesnake eggs” alongside a word of warning to keep them in a cool place to avoid them hatching. Those that were brave enough to carry on the charade and open the envelope were taken aback when a large chunk of sage came springing towards them like natures version of a jack-in-the-box; an old cowboy prank.
Images Via : Vogue
The collection was undoubtedly Yeezy, in form and in attitude. But this season came with a more organic feel, texturized and a little rough around the edges. The silhouettes were mostly pants and crop tops, some padded jackets, sports bras and armbands and finally some interesting shoe shapes. The inspiration seemed to flow from hospital scrubs to industrial hazmat gear with a little Lululemon-loving-yoga-enthusiast spirit for good measurement. The first two inspirations were bizarrely on point considering the outbreak of the Coronavirus that seemed to boom during the month of fashion week. The third was clearly thrown in to capture those known as Basic B*s. The colour palette was very muted, raw, natural, a little dowdy even. Natural materials were also the main focus, with many pieces still in toile/muslin form and wool that looked extra itchy.
The production itself was also very paired back with a black background and a grey flooring that looked unfinished. The highlight was certainly the appearance of Kanye's daughter North West, who took to the stage at the end of the show to perform a rap song.
As the press swarmed Kanye after the show, he had some very interesting things to say about his latest musings and designs. Kanye, who has been more than vocal about his newfound Christianity, his struggle with Bipolar Disorder and his love for the getting-back-to-nature lifestyle on his ranch, exclaimed to interviewers that this collection was certainly a work in progress and experimental at best. He continued saying that once the collection goes into production, the wool will be from his 700 flock of sheep he owns on the ranch and that he felt his designs were incredibly important due to his previous track record of informing other designers' color palettes and creating iconic shoe designs. Self-proclaiming that the shape of his 350, Kanye's most successful shoe, has become the most iconic shoe shape in the last 15 years...debatable Kanye, very debatable.
Images Via : Business of Fashion
Furthermore, in complete true Kanye fashion, his notions and explanations of the inner most workings of his mind are just as baffling as they have been in previous collections. Kanye told the press the collection was designed for people in the service industry, the people he and his family employ within his household including nannies, chefs and housekeepers. Adding that “everyone in my house is tired of wearing all black.” We can't imagine any of these clothes are appropriate for any of the jobs Kanye mentioned, let alone the fact that if someone is bored of wearing all black, wearing all beige is hardly a step up.
While we certainly give Kanye credit where credit is due; using self sufficient material and bringing fashion back to basics, it certainly wasn't ground breaking, nor was it attractive. But perhaps the most unattractive part of the show was Kanye himself and his self important attitude towards a collection that is a snooze fest without context and unflattering to the body. Not to mention that it would look ridiculous on anyone without a model body off the runway. Kanye went on to say that for production, they are looking into creating “suede-ing” and with his other proclamations of how this is all experimental, we can't help but think Kanye rushed putting Season 8 out so as to coincide with fashion week. Perhaps it would have been a better idea to wait until the collection actually looks the way it will when it's ready to purchase before putting it in front of buyers and the press...just an idea Kanye...
Article Commissioned by Mod'Art University of Shanghai