PHOTOS: First Impressions Of Kanye’s Paris Fashion Show

Kanye West‘s runway in Paris is still warm from the parade of models who came down wearing his freshman effort at a serious fashion line. But the critics have started to speak up, and, unfortunately for him, most of their words are cold.

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On its face, Dw by Kanye West (or KW by Kanye West, depending on which wire service you’re asking) is a collection of clothing trying to say something new. From a critical perspective, however, the clothes made up an overreaching attempt at artistry that failed where no collection dares fail: it didn’t fit, it wasn’t practical, it wasn’t easy to wear.

Christina Binkley of The Wall Street Journal tweeted that it was a good thing West “has a solid day job.” Cathy Horyn of The New York Times must have felt simiarly. She suggested “Next season Kanye should get a tailor so clothes might fit. Models swimming in some looks.”

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Initially we thought the response was perhaps a little harsh for a first collection, but then we remembered another famous fashion person, Carine Roitfeld, telling us that West knows so much about fashion he could teach it. Maybe that’s why so many designers and fashion-famous people sat in the front row at this show: Alexander Wang, Joseph Altuzarra, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Terry Richardson, Olivier Theyskens and Jeremy Scott all turned up. We don’t know if they were disappointed, but we were a little underwhelmed. This collection wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t the knockout line of clothes we’d been expecting from all the hype and the drama and buildup that surrounded it.

So what went awry? Well, for starters some of the materials seemed out of place. There was more fur and ribbed leather and knitwear than you could shake a stick at, none of which seems all that desirable in springtime. Then again, West’s slashed dresses seemed airy enough to allow a few cool breezes to reach the skin — though we should point out those same slashes called to mind a cartoon mummy coming unwrapped.

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The accessories, too, seemed a touch overwrought — West paired a relatively simple knit dress with a fur backpack so large it looked like the model wearing it might fall onto her back from its weight. Then there were the shoes, some of which were so strappy they might have been used as whips. Others looked like the sleeves of cable knit sweaters found a final resting place at the wearer’s ankles. [Author's note: I'm actually a little into those shoes. Sue me.]

But don’t fret, there are a few bright spots: Kanye showed pants! So many pairs of pants, and interesting, sparkly ones at that. And it certainly felt different than the other shows we’ve seen so far during Paris Fashion Week. And perhaps with time, that difference will become a distinct point of view and an ability to dress women’s bodies in substance and in style.

Take a look at a few pieces of the collection, below.


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