Keeping up with Kanye
The famously provocative, and ever entertaining, Kanye West kicked off New York Fashion Week with his hotly anticipated Yeezy Season 4 (presented by Adidas) show yesterday in Roosevelt Island’s Four Freedoms Park, New York. As the follow up to last season’s Yeezy Season 3 spectacular at Madison Square Gardens, the anticipation stemmed from the expectation for something wild to occur just as much as actual fashion – or ‘apparel’ as Ye has now requested his designs be deemed.
As expected, the Internet was having a field day this morning with post-show postmortems and tales of fainting models and fashion editors crammed onto school field trip-style buses which stalled in traffic for hours (without snacks!) in the blistering NYC heat.
Was it as chaotic as social media made it seem? Here’s everything you need to know about the show that will be flooding your Twitter feed all day:
Running fashionably late
Never one to be constrained by the New York Fashion Week schedule, West asked the 1,000 or so guests to be ready for pick up at 1:30 pm sharp; the show itself was due to start at 3pm. Keeping up with Kanye proved pointless however, and the show ran an hour and 50 minutes late, eventually kicking off at 4.49pm. There was no front row treatment aboard the Yeezy express, with esteemed New York Times Fashion Director, Vanessa Friedman tweeting: ‘On the Yeezy bus #NYFW. No snacks. No water. No music. No merch. C’mon Kanye.’ You would expect (the very brilliant) The Life of Pablo to pump for the full hour and a half-long journey to lull the hangry editors (I repeat, zero snacks!!), but no. Just silence.
The show space was pretty historic, and is the site of a former smallpox hospital, opened in 1856 to quarantine patients with the disease. Opting for his usual tableaux vivants-style installation, an army of models clad in neutrally hued underwear assembled in neat rows on a patch of grass, which was circled by a vast runway. Kanye’s long-time collaborator, the Italian artist Vanessa Beecroft, choreographed the display.
It was HOT
Vanessa Friedman tweeted this picture of one model who seemingly needed to take a break from her mannequin-esque stance in the 32-degree heat with a quick recovery crouch on the grass.
There was a booth on site, selling $75 long-sleeved t-shirts in white and neon yellow, with the show invitation screen-printed on them. Helpful to anyone who’d sweated through their carefully styled NWFW Day 1 outfit, no doubt.
The models walking the runway appeared to be struggling as much as their peers on the grass, though their difficulty seemed to be less to do with the heatwave and more down to their tricky thigh high-heeled boots. One model, Amina Blue, resorted to kicking off her perspex Yeezy heels and completed her walk with a barefoot hobble, while others glided along in pool slides and trainers.
There were over a hundred ‘street cast’ models at the show, though some recognisable faces did appear in the form of star-on-the-rise (and Justin Bieber’s other half) Sofia Richie – who made her NYFW debut at the show but did seem to draw the short straw and was swaddled in a huge shearling-lined hoodie with thigh high boots in a heatwave.
Chanel Iman – who closed the show in black Adidas tracksuit bottoms and a matching black parka – was also one of the big names walking at the show, as was Teyana Taylor – one of the only female artists signed to West’s G.O.O.D. Music label, and the star of his epic Fade video – who was the second-to-last model out and wore a black crop top and shorts.
Kim Kardashian West arrived fashionably late with sisters Kendall, Kylie and a crew of cameramen shooting Keeping Up With The Kardashians in tow. The sisters were coordinating (natch) in entirely monochrome, pale beige outfits. Other noteworthy attendees include Anna Wintour, Pharrell, Spike Jonze, Kylie’s BF Tyga and Lewis Hamilton.
As you might expect the collection was yet another offering of West’s signature, oversized athleisure-meets-streetwear in a muted colour palette and camo prints. Underwear, bodycon dresses, thigh-high boots, puffer jackets in pumped up proportions and sporty crop tops worn with high-waisted skirts or briefs dominated the show.
Well, that’s Kim sorted for next season, but what about you?