• Close up of @_dion_lee_ skirt and #ToBeAdored shirt from @sister_tokyo
  • Chased after Brunie here up Hollywood Road. Just because.
  • Thanks to @mrstreetpeeper for tip off about designer sale at top of Times Square. Scored this Junya Watanabe jacket for £150!!! #bargain
  • Insta thank you to @andotherstories and @mrstreetpeeper for putting a bit of spring in my step
  • Retro Hong Kong caff interior at Matchbox Cafe

I should hanging my head in shame for making my first proper bumper post on a show in Paris revolve around what by all accounts was a poor collection but I promise I have a point to make, one that is time-sensitive before I move on to what has really excelled this week and also slightly personal. 

I don't know why.  I don't know how.  I'm not sure if it was anything to do with minor encounters with Kanye, where I sat next to him at Danielle Scutt yonks ago and he said he liked my shoes or the time his assistant who runs his blog said to me that Kanye checks out my blog but somehow I got one of those 100 tickets for the show.

Willy Wonka golden ticket?  Hardly, but to say that I wasn't intrigued would be a lie.  Kanye, Kanyeezy, the Yeezy is a bundle of contradictions.  Despite all the fuck-ups and the DOH! moments, I'll always think of him as one our generation's most ambitious music game-changer.  What of him as a fashion designer then?  It's all too tempting to pull out that old chestnut about the ghastliness of celebrity fashion lines but I along with many others were inclined to think that Kanye might be an exception.  His incessant show going.  The random internship applications.  I can say that on eye-witness account when he's looking at clothes in a collection, he seems to be diligently taking mental notes as opposed to attending the show just to put a starry bum on a seat.  Then there were the names that were being tossed about who have supposedly consulted/helped – Louise Goldin, Dean Quinn, Katie Eary were the Central Saint Martins bunch being talked up – all still to be verified for sure (non-disclosure contracts and all‚Ķ) but their possible participation definitely clued us into expecting something worth talking up. 

To say that what we saw in the slick white box lit up with UV light (see my trainers glow unnaturally below in the image shot by Garance Dore) didn't quite hit the spot is an understatement.  You've all read the verdicts.  At best, Kanye is praised for bravado.  At worst, it was a complete and utter disaster.  I'd say I'm somewhere towards the mild end of the scale but what really sealed the conclusion was not upon seeing the clothes but the verdicts after.

Kanye-west-show

As soon as the show was over, a deluge of tweets flooded through, lambasting the collection.  "Don't give up the day job" was the consensus.  That line particularly hit a spot and I think I'm about to have my own cray-cray Kanye  I couldn't help but think of the strange parallels between myself and yup, Mr West.  An amateur having a go at something he/she loves, giving up the 'day job' to pursue a passion.  The similar doubts from the 'insiders', the people with authority that decree that you don't belong in that industry.  If you think fashion bloggers have reached a perfect zenith, you'd be wrong.  Walking into a show and having eyes stare at you wondering why you're even there is something that I'm well used to and on a universally larger scale, before even having put a stitch out, the jury was already out on West's collection judging by the numerous malicious comments.      

Yes, with West's connections and means, the collection could have been miles better but in amongst the ravel of fur, ill fitting dresses and an overabundance of zippers, I still felt there was something there that spoke of an intention to directional design.  Something in the use of volume in the white pleated sections. Something in the giant fur backpack which despite its material was a standout piece for me.  Something in the pearl embroidery that could have been awesome were it not for the lack of finesse in the finish.  There were touches of SOMETHING that I thought could have been interesting if developed fully, fitted properly and pulled together with cohesion.  I'll be slammed for this but give me a half-baked collection with an inkling of good ideas over a perfectly executed, but not very exciting one any day.  I will say though that I think it was a mistake for West to choose Paris as his debut platform.  New York might have been a kinder beginning.   

The point of all this rambling is that the show was a learning curve, and one that West and co. will hopefully have taken onboard.  He's certainly not alone when it comes to designers who had dodgy debuts.  The slating will continue for sure and so will the cries of "He's JUST a f****** celebrity".  The big-me-up speech at his after party doesn't help the cause for my arguing about his hubris levels, but I still see him as a rookie designer, who has the will and the gusto to learn and that's good enough for me.  Well, we'll see next season.   

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Comments (38)

  1. SACRAMENTO says:

    Love the last photo.Some shoulders, wowwwwwwwwwwwwwwww Me likey!!!
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

  2. On the contrary, i think he did a great job for a debut collection. Sure there were some cringeworthy pieces and i tried very hard not to judge (celeb designer and all) but overall i just……liked it.

  3. Kit says:

    In my opinon, the collection look okay from the distance but in close up it’s utter disaster. Where’s the hook fastener to stabilise the heavy zip, the trousers will eventually fall within a yard of walking distance. Poor finishing on the sleeve, I could see the fraying in the underarm (last pic), ahhh too many faults to point out. The collection is tooo graduaty and obviously he picked the wrong city to debut his collection….stick with New York mate.

  4. Andrea Paola says:

    I have to agree with fashion tidbits. For a debut collection it wasn’t bad at all. Next season, I expect more but for a celebrity designer I was impressed. xoxoxo

  5. I really disliked his collection. Firstly because I hate fur, generally because I know what happens to get it to the runway (even certified fur). Even more of an insult that he would use it in a SS collection. Secondly it is very unwearable. I have no idea who will wear this collection other than a very rich street walker for the most part. I do like the beaded top in the last photo, that was about it.

  6. Ren says:

    My honest opinion, his collection, the conceptual idea and the visual stimulation was something that I could appreciate. There were clear mistakes, like fit, construction, but the idea was present. I think he just needs what all Fashion students sometime need; Practice, continuous practice. It all comes with time. I see what the critics are saying, but at the same time as a Fashion student myself, I see Kanye’s point when he says, it’s his first collection. Let him do more work, and let’s see if it gets better. How many well known, successful designers, do we know of that debuted to souring remarks. That’s a hurdle every designer faces, being told No. It’s what you do afterwards. Let’s see if he gets better.

  7. The Minx says:

    I really liked it! I don’t even especially like Kanye, but I actually found it to be one of the most intriguing collections at fashion week. I agree with you though, I think he should have begun showing in New York.

  8. romiespirit says:

    Anyway,,, It’s true that we should keep on eye on him for the next season.

  9. romiespirit says:

    oh. by the way, I saw ur review for West in Dazeddigital.. And found out this is why i love blog about.

  10. MstrdavidPOP says:

    i think, i love the fabrics used but the collection doesn’t flow for me,
    good starting platform though,
    http://thefashionphotomoto.blogspot.com/

  11. I was wary about this collection. I am definitely not a fan of his attitude most of the time but i decided not to slag the collection of before i’d seen it. I think people aren’t taking time to think about the actual collection. They are just thinking about what they know of him already and how he is not origianially a designer. I do think the collection was actually really greatt!! (Though i wasnt fond of the necklaces). But people shouldnt judge so quickly.
    Love your blog!
    http://styleastronaut.blogspot.com/

  12. Kera says:

    I have never been a fan of his attitude…everything he gives off really. His energy mostly, and feel the same toward his designs. But he tried as we all do and with attempt can come growth. I think the sensationalist mentality toward celebrity is unfortunate as there are so many talented designers who don’t get a big show and yet have amazing work. That’s more the tragedy.
    Your write up was fantastic. Really enjoyed it.

  13. ClaireMarice says:

    Totally agree with you.. some really amazing bits when you get up close, but as a whole a complete mess. It was trying to hard to be sexy, and trying to hard to be designer. Like the skirt in the third photo from the bottom, the beads emerging from the torn cloth. Done correctly that could have been really beautiful.. but I look at it as is as wonder why her ass is hanging out…

  14. Rosie says:

    Some crazy stuff goin these days
    love the trousers, hooded dresses and shoulder embelishments
    Rosie xxxx
    http://gottabestylin.blogspot.com/

  15. I’m really glad you wrote this post. For very selfish reasons, to be perfectly honest. My verdict is quite similar and finding someone who shares my opinion (and who isn’t my mum) is sort of nice.

    http://verenahafner.wordpress.com

  16. Attractivesneakers says:

    So good baby baby and if you dont know now you now !… Nice collection

  17. if jane says:

    i agree with kera re: “I think the sensationalist mentality toward celebrity is unfortunate as there are so many talented designers who don’t get a big show and yet have amazing work. That’s more the tragedy.”
    and just because someone wants to create, has passion, has money etc…that still doesn’t guarantee that it will be good in the end or even interesting. one still has to be talented.

  18. Marian says:

    Hi Susie,
    Thank you for this. I think you outlined some great points. I admire Kanye’s passion and thirst for the creative is admirable. I think it is important to chase the dream, even if that means giving up the day job.
    I definitely see where he was trying to go with the collection and I see facets and certain details that have something there, perhaps more evident with better execution?
    My issue is… Why is it that when someone shows a collection and they happen to be a celebrity, is their the expectation that they should be critiqued or reviewed with a different set of standards. Or perhaps better put… judged with a softer and less critical eye?
    There are many designers who perhaps had to also make huge sacrifices to stage those first shows which get panned for whatever reason but why should it be different if a celebrity (however much he has also sacrificed to chase his dream of being a designer)?
    So I am not by any means agreeing with the backlash his show has created or endorse some of the language and context used with reference to it all… but I do think that if we are going to review collections, it should be irrespective of who the person is, their affiliations etc because I think a lot of sweat, tears and sacrifices go into each collection crafted, whoever the designer is.
    Thank you again for this Susie, just thought I would add my thoughts on it.
    Glam kisses,
    Marian.

  19. Olive says:

    I love the picture of you! so cool

  20. Lulu says:

    I loved reading this post. Your empathy for Kanye is refreshing and I like the raw feeling this has, different to a lot of fashion blogs.
    Thanks for sharing xx

  21. I concur with Lulu a organic refreshing post, more empathy in the fashion industry would serve us all well! Kanye’s intentions in the industry seem legitimate, it will be interesting to see how he grows from this experience.

  22. A.d says:

    Dear Sussie 2 pages about you in one of the most importan spanish magazines!!!, “EL PA√çS SEMANAL” and 1 page in the digital edition.
    http://www.elpais.com/articulo/portada/profesion/bloguera/elpepusoceps/20111002elpepspor_15/Tes

  23. Dying to one of the design…

  24. This collection has been critized by a lot off designer, but I like
    http://attractivesneakers.blogspot.com/

  25. Angela says:

    his collection needs allot of work. And I agree on what Susie said he should have started in New York, since he is new. But his collection was very poor and I personally would never wear his collection.
    who knows maybe in his next collection thats if there will be one, will be better…..
    Who knows
    But what he has shown here, who knows if people would buy it : (

  26. Erica+David says:

    We are LOVING this post! All the white and pops of color here and there, is amazing! Also…the sequins, studs, patterns! Oh my! A dream!
    PS. the neons are fresh too!
    ox,
    -Davie+Erica
    Wardrobe Stylists, NYC
    >>http://www.lpfashionphilosophy.blogspot.com

  27. Pearl says:

    I love the photos, always stunning.

  28. DAYNA LIVERMAN says:

    Love the Fur BacKPACK

  29. M says:

    I agree , I think there is some potential in Kanye’s work and he obviously debuted in the wrong city, he let his ego decide how he was going to do things and he probably needs to work on building his team.
    I’m sure we’ll see better collections coming with consecutive seasons but I think it was unrealistic for anyone to assume automatically that an untrained and inexperienced designer could have a jaw-dropping first collection. There was obviously a lot of hype and expectation for this talented man’s first foray into fashion, which is I guess a given, given his celebrity and musical talent. But it just goes to show you can’t be amazing at anything when you first start out.
    I am disappointed that many reviews had to be so harsh, but not all of them were so and the ones that were-i guess they had to be somewhat subjective and I suppose many were from very experienced journalists who are more likely to write about what they see without a thought for the circumstance surrounding the show and the work that went into it. I would hate to be so harshly criticised for my first efforts and i definitely empathise with him but I DO wonder how much it takes for any kind of negative/constructive commentary to get through to him ..I guess the one thing which this was good for was that perhaps it hopefully taught him there’s always room to learn.
    In regards to yourself Susie, I saw you at a show I was working on in Sydney and must say that most of us were super excited to see you there. I really wanted to say hi but I got a little stuck for what to say because i didn’t want to come across too fan-girly.. I think a younger generation are fully appreciative that people like you are out there doing what you do, because fashion should be fun and it IS inclusive and your chosen medium and what you do with that really speaks for these ideas and encourages everyone to play and explore fashion as well. Kudos to you! We love you! :D

  30. susie_bubble says:

    Yes, it is unfortunate that even the build up of negative press is sort of advantageous for Kanye (this post contributing to that….) and is something that lesser known designers will never enjoy…. I’m trying to showcase stuff though that ishopefully lesser known and amazing in my opinion…. every little helps…

  31. susie_bubble says:

    You’re absolutely right. The very fact that I wrote this review despite the amount of press that has already been heaped towards it, and despite the fact I haven’t posted about anything else in Paris prior to this is testament of that ‘celebrity’ factor – something that I thought would never affect me. Yet somehow Kanye is to me a different kettle of fish. Perhaps it is my years of observing him as a fashion-lover that really intrigued me about this collection.
    I don’t think I’ve applied a ‘softer’ eye though…. the very manner that I’ve critiqued him could also be applied to a whole host of lesser-known designers. There were many debuts I saw in New York for instance that I thought fell short but sadly weren’t as culturally significant as Kanye’s debut.
    That’s the thing, I did view this more as a cultural thing as well as a fashion thing so in that respect, it was difficult to review it WITHOUT putting it into the context of who Kanye is and what he has done in the past. Amateurs with his chequered past in lack of hubris don’t come aplenty and that’s definitely a good thing where fashion is concerned…
    I’m more interested in amazing young talent though rather than ones that fall short and this season, I think I’ve unearthed a few…. we’ll see though!

  32. Mel says:

    the looks on the audience, priceless

  33. Mr.Raghab says:

    ya u are right, i also liked this collection… The trends of today’s fashion is upgrading day by day……Also career growth is incredible….
    I happened to work with Kishore Mamillapalli in Delhi. Currently based in New Delhi, he actually belongs from Indore. I worked with him in the domain of fashion designing. Kishore had a great eye for details, and his combination of western and Indian styles and his way of blending them was pretty unique. The 3 years that I worked with him were the most valuable lessons that I learnt. Today though I am a renowned fashion designer I still remember my days of working with Kishore Mamillapalli.

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