Among the other topics dominating Paris Fashion Week—Jil Sander, Raf Simons, YSL, Dior—there was Kanye West. Would people go to his show? Would the clothes be any better? Would he keep on trying?
The answer to all three was yes (though there’s some debate on number two). Plenty of people went to both his 9:30PM show (late, even by Paris standards) and his afterparty. Both serious editors and buyers as well as West’s friends like Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, P Diddy. Rosario Dawson, Common and Mos Def sat front row. Conspicuously missing, however, were the designers who so enthusiastically showed up to support West’s debut effort last September: Azzedine Alaïa, Dean and Dan Caten, Olivier Theyskens, Jeremy Scott, Delfina Delettrez Fendi and the Olsens. Instead, there’s just one other designer’s name being bandied about: Riccardo Tisci. Yesterday, the Post reported the spread of Parisian gossip about the rapper’s close friendship with the Givenchy designer. Tisci worked with West and Jay on last year’s Watch the Throne and has recently vacationed with West, but is he helping West design clothes? Probably not. Tisci’s influence can be felt in nearly every collection that Phoebe Philo’s can’t.
As for the critical reviews of West’s fall collection, no one actually name checked Givenchy. Here’s a roundup of what they did say:
Eric Wilson, The New York Times
“After a debut collection that was a critical flop last fall, Kanye West resumed his fashion career in Paris on Tuesday night, picking up right where he left off, with a spectacle of slinky dresses, leather pants that didn’t quite fit, furry peplums, broadtail stretch pants, some souped-up go-karts and Kim Kardashian. Well, at least that was an improvement.”
Luke Leitch, The Telegraph
“The collection? Well, it was no hit – but neither was hit with a capital S.”
Tim Blanks, Style.com
“He reduced his first collection’s profligacy to a more concise statement in leather, velvet, and astrakhan, most often in black and always wrapping a legging or pencil-skirted lean silhouette. It was a declaration that West is learning self-discipline in design.”
Jess Cartner-Morley, The Guardian
“Kanye West not only loves fashion, but has an impressive instinct for the catwalk zeitgeist. This show included almost every major trend from next autumn’s collections: black leather, velvet, high necklines, crocodile effect, and influences from sportswear, gothic and baroque aesthetics. It did not however make a strong case for West’s possession of an original point of view on the season’s trends. No one doubts that Kanye West genuinely loves fashion, but for the moment the passion remains unrequited.”