West unveils womenswear collection before star-packed crowd, including Lindsay Lohan, Jared Leto and Ciara.
By James Montgomery
Kanye West made his Paris Fashion Week debut Saturday night (October 1), launching a womenswear line with a high-profile show that was sexy, swaggering and, of course, incredibly stylish.
Before an audience that included fashion heavyweights like Vogue Editor in Chief Anna Wintour, designer Alexander Wang and photographer Terry Richardson — not to mention celebs like Lindsay Lohan, Jared Leto and Ciara — West paraded a host of different looks, from daringly cut dresses and color-block pants to body-hugging tracksuits and high-end hoodies.
West draped his models in flowing fabrics, leather and fur, propped them up on beaded stilettos and even gave each a matching “Yeezi” nameplate chain to wear on the catwalk. And for an artist to whom subtlety is often a foreign concept, West displayed an unerring attention to the tiny details, as evidenced by the collection’s artfully beaded ensembles, knitted tops and even fur-covered backpacks — all of which had the crowd murmuring with approval.
Though it was his first-ever showing, West’s bow was also one of the most-hyped events of Paris’ annual fashion week, with bloggers hyping stories that he had spent 14,000 pounds on fabric and trimmings at London haberdasheries and speculating that his show would feature only the models he mentioned in his song “Christian Dior Denim Flow.” The actual location for the show was kept a closely guarded secret, with invitations being mailed the day before the event, a move that only further added to the frenzy.
And given the buildup, it seemed only natural (and, in keeping with Fashion Week tradition) for West to start his show some 45 minutes after the supposed 9:30 p.m. start time. But that didn’t seem to bother those lucky enough to gain entry into Paris’ Lycee Henri IV (a posh secondary school taken over by West’s team for the event), who chatted beneath soft purple lighting while waiting for the first models to walk.
At show’s end, West emerged to applause, wearing a simple white T-shirt, black pants and a pair of Jordans. After taking his bow, he posed for photos backstage with his models, and speculation began that his collection (which doesn’t yet have a name) might actually be called Yeezi, as the nameplates seemed to hint.