Rapper and fashion lover Kanye West debuted his women’s ready-to-wear collection – dW by Kanye West (this a tribute to his late mother Donda) -- in Paris on Saturday night during Paris Fashion Week at the ornate library Lycee Henri IV, and well, it wasn’t pretty according to many critics and bloggers who attended the show.
“Kanye West’s Paris Flop,” is the headline of The Daily Beast’s fashion critic Robin Givhan’s review. The Pulitzer Prize winning fashion writer went on to explain, “The collection lacked focus. The silhouettes were unflattering. And the whole project looked to be that of a beginner over-reaching. In short, it was dreadful.”
European bloggers seemed to feel the same. A general summary of those sentiments appeared in the Telegraph. “One editor stated that 'The Kanye West show, in my humble opinion, is proof that everyone can love fashion but not everyone can be a fashion designer', whilst another suggested the star 'should be a designer about as much as Coco Chanel should be a rapper'.” A review in GRAZIA DAILYCO.UK explained, “Kanye West's debut show was always going to be a talking point, but preshow it was all people were talking about -- loudly and excitedly -- post-show it was, too, but either with a smirk, raised eyebrow or embarrassed whisper.” And at The Guardian, the headline read “Is there room at Paris fashion week for Kaye West’s ego?”
The Women’s Wear Daily review, while less strident, was distinctly tepid. “The collection turned out to be neither triumph nor train wreck.”
So what was so bad? "For prostitutes," said one publication, referring to the garments’ plunging (like really plunging) necklines, while many others reported that the clothes fit the models poorly, were clunky and completely inappropriate for the spring season (um, we’re guessing they were referring to the fur backpacks and trims, and leather ensembles that might do double-duty as saunas. Eeks).
One thing the show did not lack according to reports was a stellar front row that not only included fashion queen Anna Wintour, but celebrities such as Lindsay Lohan (no stranger to a Parisian runway flop), Mary- Kate and Ashley Olsen, Ciara, and Jared Leto, along with designers including Azzedine Alaia, Joseph Altuzarra, Oliver Theyskens, Jeremy Scott and Alexander Wang.
Not everybody panned West's show. The Associated Press called it, "sophisticated," and "highly designed," although somewhat derivative. MTV reported that, “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.”
Um, we’re thinking they may have misinterpreted those murmurs, but then, we weren’t there.