Kanye West Debuts Womenswear Line at Paris Fashion Week
West unveiled his collection, reportedly named “Dw,” (a moniker presumably inspired by his late mother, Donda West) on Oct. 1 at the Lycee Henri IV, a prestigious secondary school in south Paris. According to the Associated Press, fashion’s elite, which included Vogue editor Anna Wintour and Vogue Paris editor Carine Roitfeld, designers Jeremy Scott, Alexander Wang, Joseph Altazurra and photographer Terry Richardson, were all in attendance as West unveiled his hard-edged womenswear line, which painted, or rather knitted, outside of the lines of a typical spring/summer fashion show.
According to MTV News, Like many a fashion star, West began his late-night show 45 minutes later than the 9:30 start time, but the audience’s wait, which was worsened by a freak heat wave, was made worthy once the show started. West’s line ran the gamut between subtle beauty and opulence as he draped his models in luxe, street wear-inspired clothes that included flowy low-slung suits, stunning embossed leather skirts and jackets, oversized fox fur backpacks (a strange item for a spring/summer collection), impressive beaded stilettos (a highlight of the show) and matching “Yeezy” nameplate chains for all of his models, which included catwalk queens Chanel Iman, Jourdan Dunn, Karlie Kloss, Anja Rubik and Izabel Goulart.
As many have noted, West’s line clearly pulled inspiration from the designers he’s spent so much time idolizing over the past five or six years attending fashion shows. The freshman designer show a hint of Balmain with his use of zippers and color-blocked trousers, traces of edgy and gothic inspiration from his high fashion friends Marc Jacobs of Louis Vuitton and Riccardo Tisci of Givenchy in bondage-y cut out leather skirts and inklings of Herve Leger in his revealing and sexy bandage dresses.
Though West’s line has been met with its fair share of criticism over obvious fit problems (Iman was flown in from New York for fittings only a day before the show), many celebrities in the audience, which included Ciara, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Lindsay Lohan and Jared Leto, were pleased with West’s collection.
“He did a great job. I walked away from this show feeling like I would love to wear this line. There is so much in it that’s right up my alley,” said Ciara. “Especially since for me, it’s so cool to see someone come from our music world and do something like this. It’s really hard,” she said a backstage interview.
Designer Jeremy Scott also praised West’s collection.
“Everyone probably thought it was going to be another like Jennifer Lopez’s Macy’s line and it’s not, it’s really clear it’s not,” said Scott. “Kanye has impeccable taste and you see his taste level is up there. He’s a fan of design across the board. I have five-hour long conversations with him all the time about everything because he’s so obsessed, and I think we got a little bit of an insight into his mind there.”
After the show, West spoke with reporters and shared his nervousness about the collection
“Turn the music down, at least,” said a disheveled West. “I’m so distracted. I was so scared,” said West before explaining his years-long journey to this moment. “I had a lot of ideas about colors and shape I wanted to express. I’m really happy where I ended up.
“The biggest conversation I hope I can end tonight is whole ‘celebrity designer’ thing,” he said once he’d managed to collect himself. “That’s the biggest hurdle when you want to get amazing people to work for you.” –nicholas robinson