Wednesday, 7 March 2012

PFW A/W2012: Kanye West Relies on Old Ideas for Attention

 [Images via Stereogum]. 
Boots with multiple straps... where have we seen that before?

I'm still not convinced by the whole 'Kanye West, Fashion Designer' thing. Personally I find him to be outspoken and out of touch with reality, and his desire to be cutting edge all the time (and to often rant in CAPITAL LETTERS LIKE HE IS SHOUTING) seems to wear a little thin. It was with trepidation that I researched his latest efforts on the catwalk, and rightfully so. The image above illustrates the kind of pieces that West considers to be ground-breaking, as if he has invented the wheel. Multiple straps on shoes, boots and heels are hardly news to many fashion lovers, especially when they look as clunky as this.

 In which Kanye has just got the memo about the goth/grunge look from last Autumn/Winter

A large part of this show was about old aesthetics and the generic looks that we're all too familiar with, from bondage-tainted leather jackets to smudgy black kohl and high necked pieces which add to the severity of the whole affair. It would have been nice to see individual quirks and influences in the collection, or something that reflected personality rather than recycling of industry standard trends such as the massive fetish moment last time we embraced Autumn/Winter.

This is what the wool from a foetal lamb looks like. Brace yourselves

I have spoken on the blog before about my views on real fur in modern society, but this really takes the biscuit. I don't consider myself to be much of an animal lover, let alone an activist, but it's genuinely horrifying to see what the coat of a foetal lamb looks like when it's been turned into a two-piece. There really isn't an excuse for using this as a fabric, no matter how cool you think it might look (which, incidentally, is not cool at all). Where is the inventiveness in taking an unborn animal and using it for a fashion statement? What's wrong with experimenting and producing digital prints, like Mary Katrantzou or Etro, but using your own ideas? Why not explore the textures of knitwear or faux fur and add your personal touch? How about slogans that mean something to the designer? It really strikes me that this collection is leaning on the use of various animal offcuts to make headlines, and that is both lazy and immature. 

To be honest, I wouldn't have expected anything less from the self promotion machine that is Kanye West, but it's disappointing to see that all his interning and studio time hasn't led to any creative development.

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