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Kanye West’s Career Move Attacked

Many observers are not wild about the superstar’s attempt to become a fashion designer. Odd ‘sweater shoes’

My Beautiful ‘Confusing’ ‘Poor-Fitting’ Fashion Line: Kanye West’s Designs Debut in Paris

“I’m so scared, I’m so nervous” is not an admission you’d ever expect Kanye West to make, given the rapper’s infamous bravado. While West might be confident when it comes to his music, he was skittish about debuting his first collection at Paris Fashion Week Saturday night to a packed house that included Vogue’s Anna Wintour, the Olsen twins, Lindsay Lohan, and established designers like Alexander Wang. And let’s just say Kanye’s designs didn’t garner the same universal acclaim as his latest album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.

Kanye is one of music’s most polarizing figures, so it’s no surprise that his fashion line also split the critics. There was some praise for the rapper, as MTV’s James Montgomery called the line “sexy, swaggering and, of course, incredibly stylish.” The AP applauded West’s fresh spin on routine designs, “Luxed-up streetwear elements, like hooded jackets made in a mosaic of crocodile skins, gave the collection a unique voice of its own.” Most critics appeared to approve of Kanye’s use of leather (there was lots of it), but his furry backpack, heavy beading (including on some odd “sweater shoes” — see close-up), and massively plunging necklines did not win fashionistas over.

In fact, the majority of the fashion world wasn’t all that impressed. The New York Times was especially scathing, calling the designs “confusing” among other less-than-complimentary adjectives. The Times even criticized the show’s tailor, writing, “There was one good-looking pair of color-blocked pants in blue and coral, but it was obvious that most of the clothes suffered from a poor fit.” The Wall Street Journal was even less kind, comparing Kanye trying his hand at fashion to Marc Jacobs pitching for the Yankees. “A vast quantity of luxury materials can’t blind people to a lack of creative marksmanship,” WSJ’s Christina Binkley wrote. Ouch.

Kanye West

We won’t know whether Kanye’s first collection, reportedly called “Yeezi,” is a hit or a miss until the Spring/Summer 2012 lines start arriving in stores, but West hoped that his designs were strong enough to end the long-standing claim that celebrities have terrible taste when it comes to making clothes. “The biggest conversation I hope I can end tonight is whole ‘celebrity designer’ thing,” West told reporters following the runway show. “That’s the biggest hurdle when you want to get amazing people to work for you.” Kanye’s designs weren’t the epic train wreck that accompanied Lohan’s leggings line, but the clothes likely weren’t good enough to stave off early elimination on Project Runway either.

While West made his grand debut in Paris, his fashion journey didn’t start on the runways of the world’s most fashionable city. For years, the MC has been obsessed with clothing. He showcased designers’ works on his Kanye Universe City blog and memorably partook in brief internships with the Gap and Fendi. West hasn’t tweeted in a while, but he used to spend his 140-character posts raving about high-end clothes, designers he admired, and the fact that he “jogs in Lanvin.” Kanye had previously released a line of shoes with Louis Vuitton and recently unveiled a series of scarves, but this was his first major foray into the fashion world. Based on the mixed reviews, he might be better off focusing on pumping out gems like My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy on an annual basis.

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Posted by on Oct 4 2011. Filed under Lifestyle. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.
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