Ready To Wear: Why be so down on a rapper's debut on the catwalk?

 

The sight of front-row faces at Kanye West's debut show made it worth attending alone.

Jaws dropped, sighs were heaved and notebooks snapped closed as fashion editors balked at the audacity of his presentation, which might have been big budget but was in no way up there with the main players.

As for the reviews... "His collection of sexpot low-bodice dresses and skin-tight pants, decked out with heaps of ginger fur did not inspire the fashion crowd to tell him to give up his day job," wrote the International Herald Tribune's Suzy Menkes. "There was one good-looking pair of colour-blocked pants in blue and coral, but it was obvious that most of the clothes suffered from poor fit," declared Eric Wilson of The New York Times while the Daily Telegraph described the entire affair as "a stupendously vacuous enterprise".

But what did anyone expect? And why, in a world which embraces collections by Kate Moss and Victoria Beckham, is it not possible to welcome West into the mix too?

He has the credentials. He has been front row at the biggest shows for years and has collaborated with Louis Vuitton and Hermès – fashion company doesn't get much better. That the looks were bombastic to the point where they challenged at least some taste levels is equally predictable. One word: Balmain.

In fact, to this reviewer's mind, the event was hugely entertaining. From the ultra-violet catwalk – shades of Tom Ford circa 1998 – to the flashing of flesh (human) against exotic skin (reptilian), it was heartfelt at least. VB's faux "I know I'm not really a designer but I'm learning" humility, meanwhile, is an affront to the intelligence of all those whose job it is to comment on fashion.

Of course ideally designers should be designers, trained for an increasingly challenging job, and those who crash in on their act should have the good grace to take their bows with the people who cut the patterns and come up with the concept for them behind the scenes.

West's response to criticism proved more resonant than the clothes. "This is my first collection. Please be easy. Please give me a chance to grow. This is not some celebrity s***. I don't f*** with celebrities. I f*** with the creatives in this room, the amazing people who spend every day trying to make the world a more beautiful place."

And I, for one, am prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Recruitment Genius: Gas Installation Engineer

    £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Gas Installation Engineer is required ...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Advisor - Opportunities Available Nationwide

    £15000 - £70000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity to ...

    Recruitment Genius: Experienced Special Needs Support Worker

    £12 - £14 per hour: Recruitment Genius: We are looking for someone to join a s...

    Recruitment Genius: Content Assistant / Copywriter

    £15310 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has arisen for a...

    Day In a Page

    Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

    Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

    How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
    Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

    Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

    Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
    Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

    Aviation history is littered with grand failures

    But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
    Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

    Fortress Europe?

    Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
    Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

    Never mind what you're wearing

    It's what you're reclining on that matters
    General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

    Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

    The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
    Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

    Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

    Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
    Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

    Marginal Streets project documents voters

    Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
    Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

    The real-life kingdom of Westeros

    Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
    How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

    How to survive a Twitter mauling

    Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
    Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

    At dawn, the young remember the young

    A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

    Follow the money as never before

    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

    Samuel West interview

    The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
    General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence