Rebel with a cause. Mad Max on Tatooine. Kanye West dropped Yeezy 2.0 on an until-a-few-days-ago unsuspecting fashion audience and, as expected, it caused quite the ruckus. Yeezy is like one of those friends who answer a question with a question. As interesting and deep the point they’re making might be, or as vacant, you’d like to have a more definitive answer, please.
‘The fashion people have to go in through here but the famous people go through there,’ offered a kid perched on the railings of the paparazzo pit set up on the street, instantly issuing a reality check and destroying all the street style set’s illusions of stardom built up over this fashion week. The famous people, all the famous people, got out of their cars and walked three steps to the entrance while people screamed their names. The fashion people stood in the heat like a pack of sardines marinating in their juices worrying about SPF and complaining about it all. ‘Oh, someone can have my ticket if they want it, this is ridiculous,’ said one. ‘Five more minutes and then I’m off to lunch!' declared another. Did they leave? No. They just pushed closer to the front while looking for someone’s number who works with Kanye.. You felt as if you were crashing a party to which you weren’t invited. I think we need to talk about fashion’s S&M relationship with celebrity. We like it rough sometimes, maybe it reminds everyone of their younger days when they were actually crashing fashion shows in dodgy car parks, but if we really don’t like it why do we not walk away? I’ve digressed. But that’s the thing with Kanye, you, like him, digress a lot.
The show and collection were a neat transition over from the first one. West worked with the performance artist Vanessa Beecroft again on a set of military exercise with drill sergeants shouting instructions and the model soldiers following them; or not quite, with one sulking and puffing on a cigarette. The first part of the collection featured the same skin-tone-matching shapewear as the first Yeezy collection, accentuating the bodies in them, sometimes gloriously and others alarmingly, but then things looked up when the outerwear started to make an appearance. In Pantone colour cards of beige, taupe, brown and black, the coats - some hooded, others in washed-out denim - and the Velcro-strapped biker jackets and cropped cargo ones, were the kind of pieces you throw on again and again, having found them perhaps at an army surplus store or a vintage market. And now at an Adidas near you. Kanye has things to say and he absolutely has to say them, that’s the wonderful thing about him. But for the next show I’m taking my cue from North West and taking a lollipop with me to suck on and calm my nerves.