When Kanye West announced that he would be presenting a collection in Paris this season, there was a palpable lack of the derision and ridicule that normally goes hand in hand with the launch of “celebrity” fashion lines. No doubt this is due to his genuine engagement with and a desire to learn about the inner workings of the fashion world. Yes, there are certainly other emerging designers who could have used that slot in the schedule, but that’s a non-issue at this point. There has been a somewhat bemused reaction to the collection that he presented and in our opinion, there are too many overt references to the work of other designers. But we do give him credit for largely steering clear of the Baby Phat/hip-hop aesthetic. We’ve looked at this collection many, many times and we think that there are a few ideas here that should be on the mood board for FW12 and fleshed out a bit with a more specific and well-considered point of view:
1. Easy, slouchy leather. Contrary to what we continue to see season after season, there is no dogma that states that leather must always and forever skim the body like a second skin. There is something fresh about a loose leather tunic and we would have liked to have seen the tunic on its own and not be upstaged by the fur.
2. Artisan-inspired knits. We love way that transitional sweater looks are treated here. Spring knitwear often consists of basic (and boring) cardigans or paper-thin pullovers, but the beading in both looks and patches on the jacket above are really quite beautiful.
3. Sequin-free evening. Yes, this look has a distinct Haider Ackermann ring to it and the skirt is a little heavy for a modern nighttime look, but we kind of like the dialed-down vibe for evening and are interested in seeing this thought fully realized. Minus the obvious nod to another designer’s work, of course.