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Following plenty of hype, anticipation and overall curiosity, Kanye West made his official debut as a designer during Paris Fashion Week. Presenting his Dw by Kanye West line, the Grammy Award-winning musician seemed excited yet surely nervous about his first foray into women’s fashion. Vulnerable and open to criticism, the talented Mr. West headed a project that, from all accounts, featured plenty of insight and design cues from a collective of notable fashion heads. Overall, Dw by Kanye West received mixed reviews, although Kanye’s efforts and eagerness towards the entire process were applauded. Style.com‘s Tim Blanks offers insight into the line below:
Maybe that’s why what Kanye actually offered on the catwalk was such a surprise. He was keen to communicate that, as far as he was concerned, there was a couture level of workmanship in items that had taken three days to complete in the atelier he’d established in London. What we actually saw was something that looked like a baby Balmain vision of womenswear. The context was impeccable—soundtrack and staging exactly what you’d expect from someone whose 360-degree vision has been responsible for some of the best albums and concerts of the past decade. The clothes? Heavy might be the operative word: zippers in excelsis; suede and leather high-performance clothing; beading, crystals, and appliqué weighting jackets and tops. And more fur than you’d want on a night when the mercury hit the roof in Paris. It’s kind of a cheap shot to go the trying-too-hard route with someone who is so undoubtedly passionate about what he is doing, but at the same time, it’s frustrating that someone who seems to almost effortlessly realize his vaulting musical ambitions comes up short elsewhere, at least on the first attempt. Of course, what Kanye West is trying to achieve is unprecedented. There isn’t a fashion designer alive who could match his music. But tonight’s show suggests that conquering his new medium is a work in progress.