The mood: It doesn’t get any more mega than Madison Square Garden. Once the roughly 1000 Vanessa Beacroft art-directed models were revealed underneath a taupe parachute and Kanye West entered with his motley family in tow (Kim, Kourtney, Khloe, Kris, Kendall, Kylie, Caitlin and even a newly-recovered Lamar Odom) the scene felt more like a surprisingly intimate listening party than your typical fashion show. “This is not normal. This is not easy to do,” a happy, reflective West repeated several times, in reference to his work: from his fall ’16 collection to new album ‘The Life of Pablo’ to a clip from a video game he is developing featuring his late mother Donda traveling through the gates of heaven.
The soundtrack: Yeezy kicked off with his new song Ultra Light Beams and the first shoes were spotted during Real Friends. He also played a song not on the album, Facts, his controversial Nike dis track, at the beckon of fans who shouted “f$&k Nike.” Sure that made the Adidas execs in the crowd more than a little un-Yeezy.
The shoes: From what was visible on models, West’s main message was boot-centric. He and many models wore the newest duck boot update, the Yeezy 1050 in a light beige. Made with gortex, they reflect fashion’s current fixation with all things all-weather. An unlucky assortment of female models, however, had to stand for hours on end in his new Perspex and clear acrylic heels, which Kim earlier shared on Instagram.
“I’m thankful to all of you for standing so long,” West said at one point. He also addressed his footwear prices and accessibility. “Adidas promised they are going to lower prices,” he said, also noting that the shoes are “award winners” (thanks to FN) and “the number one shoe y’all.” As for new sneakers, none were apparent, with a couple pairs of Yeezy Boost 350. The remainder of models were in Adidas Originals classics including Superstars an Stan Smiths.
Review: West understands that his unique position has allowed for an incredible reach. He thanked everyone for “coming to support this event, supporting the shoes when they come out, and supporting the albums, the frame of mind.” And where was his head his season? A warmed-up palette of truffle, rust, mustard and his beloved army green had a thoughtful tonality, especially as each look was paired with matching shoes.
As he has shown with each new Yeezy drop, subtle, unexpected hues are his design M.O. What really resonated, though, were the amount of general-public attendees, men and women, who were dressed as Kanye cult followers, in Adidas sneakers and bomber jackets. It’s clear he holds a large group of pop culture in the palm of his hand. For more on this phenomenon, which West is hyper-aware of, listen to Freestyle 4 on the album.