By Lane Hedler
Rapper and Superstar Kanye West collaborated with Adidas Originals to present Fall/Winter 2015 clothing collection for New York Fashion Week.
The collection consisted of a mixture of womens wear and menswear and overall contained 50 looks. Conceptually, the collection was anchored in a military “vibe” presenting army-green and camouflage clothing pieces and accessory. The models wore full body suits that clung to their skin and we matched to the models skin tone. Models wore singular pieces of clothing over these full-body stockings. The speculated purpose of the mixture of a garment with a body suit is that the piece of clothing was standing alone and therefore able to be admired as a single art piece.
The models casted in this show were perfect for what West presented in the clothing. The models deviated from the norm. They had unique features which made them more memorable say if West had used the typical “model type.” It was refreshing to see that the models understood the artistic direction West was trying to achieve.
Upon first viewing of the dull collection on style.com, something seemed wrong and this was frustrating because there seemed to be not immediate cause to my dissatisfaction. Upon further review, I can now clearly understand the reasons behind my uneasiness.
It seems strange and unfair that West was collaborating with Adidas Originals yet his fashion show contained no sign of an Adidas logo and the clothes presented in this particular fashion show had no correlation with Adidas typical style. If Adidas was collaborating with West for attention then this fashion show was a success in that aspect, but if Adidas was trying to sell clothes, this fashion show was a failure. The only positive advertising for Adidas that has happened is that teens are posting some of the models in West’s designs on social media.
I did audibly saw “wow!” at some of the looks, and I do think that collection was creative and artistic, but what frustrates me is that no new trends were presented. West only seemed to copy from past seasons and past designs. The fashion was relevant for that moment, but the lasting ‘trendiness” and longevity of the collect remains to be seen.
What is sad, though, is West’s self-centered and narcissistic personality seemed to take over this show and make the models and more importantly the clothes disappear. The clothes became a backdrop to West’s performance. Maybe that was intention to create an army of fashionable young people and stand before them as a commander. West’s attempt is very commendable, and I can respect the fact that he is experimenting in many art forms. His personal style is very obvious and it drives the creative direction of the collection. I do see West as an artist but I think he lives to much in the sphere of fame rather than living in the art world, while this might not be seriously damaging, its affects can be seen in the visual art that he presents. West not only needs a slice of “humble pie” but he needs to be able to notice when he is casting a shadow over his art, a shadow caused by his need attention and the need to further his fame.
When I first thought if my opinion on this collection would change if it was designed by someone else I was torn but now I am confident when I saw I would like it better. If his performance was removed and the shadow of this fame and huge ego was lifted, I would say that the fashion was refreshing compared to the usual “Up-tight-ness” of global fashion weeks.
I encourage West to experiment more in fashion because he has created a great start and I also encourage him to leave his ego at home.