Thursday, September 17, 2015

New York Fashion Cool-Aid™

Kanye West x Adidas Original is a Rubber Chicken



Several years ago facing yet another Father's Day; an occasion of traditionally gifting my dad with an item that would, at best, get immediately relegated to the back of a closet, I decided to go the joke route. At a novelty gift shop I found a black baseball cap with the words "Old Geezer," funny enough, yet that was not where it ended. Through the back of the black cap jutted a shock of long stringy gray locks; the front of the cap featured gray blunt cut bangs. I found another cap for my husband which read "Born to Be Mild" with a long gray ponytail extended from the back. As an afterthought, I placed the ne plus ultra of comedy props on the counter: a rubber chicken. Legend has it that Johnny Carson always kept a rubber chicken behind his desk in case all else failed because "a rubber chicken always gets a laugh."

When I presented the squeaking faux fowl as a follow up to the hat (which was a big hit and made for some great pre-IG photos), my nephews instinctively roared. However, an adult family member expressed puzzlement. "I don't get it" she said, pretty much summing up how I feel about Kanye's forays into fashion. I just don't get it. Incidentally, when questioned about the intrinsic humor found in a rubber chicken I had answered that there was absolutely nothing to get--it was just a rubber chicken. Maybe there's nothing to get in West's nude attire which is even unsuitable for the gym, not to mention downright ugly.


Adidas Originals Season 1
(Photo credits: AP, Wenn, Getty Images)

What do Kanye's fashion line and his presidential announcement have in common? One can only hope they're both jokes. It is indeed funny that the fall/winter collection presented in February (which already had some shaking their heads) was exactly the same as the one presented for spring/summer minus the one thing that made the collection slightly more interesting-- the oversized army green and camouflaged bomber jackets that channeled (knocked-off) those often worn by Rihanna from Vetements.

The punch line is that, unfortunately, Kanye is now influential enough to get many serious industry people (Anna, for instance) to actually drink the Kool-Aid -- or watch the performance art as it were, let alone take time out of her already overwhelming schedule to sit front row at his show(s). Are Anna and others, being pranked or are they in on the joke? "Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me" as well as shades (actually flesh tones) of the emperor's new clothes, seem to be the recurring themes. He also supposedly came in out of nowhere with this show as it didn't appear on the Fashion Calendar thereby angering newbie designer Anne Bowen who called him out as "unethical." She ended up rescheduling her show, at her expense. Naeem Khan, whose show was also in the same time slot, remained silent on the matter and showed anyway.


Second season

Some may already be bowing out: Bey and Jay Z were not present for this second circus although they initially gave Yeezus a chance in February. Kendall sat second row, perhaps trying to distance herself. What must Riccardo Tisci think of this charade -- after he staged his, some say "brilliant," certainly well thought out and presented collection that I'm sure many saw as this fiascos antithesis. Tisci worked with performance artist Marina Abramovic, West with Vanessa Beecroft. Does Riccardo feel knocked off or cheapened? After leaving Kanye does he immediately take 30 showers before he "gets with" his collection the way Kanye says he had to do between dating Amber Rose and Kim.

Kylie, who walked in the last show also made the line-up for this one however I initially didn't notice her as she appeared to fly incognito with a hat and a hood. Kendall was supposedly mortified when Kanye "styled" Kim for an outdoor Juergen Teller magazine shoot in similar flesh toned undergarments and indicated that they were the industry laughing stock behind the scenes. Even little Nori rebelled again yet --somehow, this season it was deemed by no less an authority than WWD that Northwest's "mini-tantrum that rivaled the runway for entertainment" was "adorable" and "Even Anna seemed amused."



While children in the front row have unfortunately become a thing of late, Little Nori is probably just embarrassed at the spectacle that her dad is making and is trying desperately to deflect some of the attention away from him. Apparently "climbing sneaker sales and page views" are keeping Kanye in the fashion arena or at least, the silly celebrity brand arena and, as long as they do, Adidas Originals will continue to support him. (See WWD article)

All I know is that I'll give a rubber chicken to anyone that can explain the appeal of Kanye x Adidas Originals.




- Laurel Marcus

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