As Fashion Week packs up and leaves Paris until the next time, the good, the bad and the downright confusing will have us talking long after the industry descend on their next venue.
Some of the main talking points have been the beautiful and impressive Stella McCartney ready-to-wear collection show yesterday. Year after year, her talent only seems to soar and waiting for her to preview a line is something a treat if you’re a girl all about her style.
Kanye West has left people talking for very different reasons and the best way I can describe how I’m feeling is sorely disappointed. With invitations being sent out very very last minute and an unbelievably exclusive guestline and practically having to sell an organ to get on that frontrow, I expected…more.
This is a man that spends as much time on the fashion circuit as he does in the recording studio and so I have to say I expected him to understand what would work and wouldn’t work when it came to that all important debut runway show.
Of course, every designer has a bad day at the office and we have come to expect, and to a lesser extent, respect that, but there are some fundamental things that make a s/s ready-to-wear collection a s/s ready-to-wear collection and fur just isn’t one of them.
Fur? In summer?
No matter how inexperienced a man maybe when it comes to womenswear, we’re guessing he’ll understand that decking a woman out in fur is not the right way to go. Even the bondage-esque, leave nothing to the imagination pieces that were hitting the runway weren’t exactly ‘ready-to-wear’ either.
All this being said, I don’t think that Kanye could have pleased everyone. If he had played it safe and presented a prestine collection of safe yet stylish clothes we would have been saying ‘well anyone can do that. Where’s the spark, the risk, the talent?’ Hats off to him for trying and for making the most of the opportunity that so many designers would again, probably sell an organ for. That deserves some credit.
This got me thinking about other celebrity designers that have stepped out of their ‘day jobs’ and into the glitzy, glam world of designing. There are some that have made some serious cash and built a much better reputation than their day job lended, enter Jessica Simpson and Victoria Beckham, two examples where fashion has most definitely been their friend.
Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen are twins on a mission and I bet they have some smug words to any (including myself) who thought their $39,000 bag wouldn’t sell (it did). Beyonce is even juggling impending motherhood with her music and now a fashion line at Selfridges.
So my question… Do we judge and criticise celebrity designers more severely than ‘professional’ designers? If so, why?
Don’t get me wrong, there are some designer choices that I’m not the biggest fan of and celebrity designers that I think have enough style to attempt a line (Lauren Conrad and Gwen Stefani) – so the line isn’t clear cut.
Kanye West now faces the backlash and mixed reactions from those that he has been happy enough to rub frontrow shoulders with over the years. What remains to be seen is whether he takes it on the chin and learns from those who know more than him (Anna Wintour) or does he hide away from the spotlight, never to be seen at Fashion Week again?
One thing is for sure, even if Kanye West becomes a fashion designing genius, a household name, re-defining the style world as we know it (unlikely), people will struggle to forget that he once started out using FUR for a S/S collection….