Kanye West made his mark on New York Fashion Week Wednesday morning when he rolled out Yeezy Season 2. Not only did West host the show, he had it streamed in theaters worldwide, tickets for which were only attainable by applying through Kanye’s website and receiving an RSVP. Luckily, we were able to get our hands on tickets to a showing in Dallas. Here’s what we saw.
Like many artistic endeavors, this show started fashionably late. Seventy to 80 kids were packed in the theater — more than likely skipping class — to watch the highly anticipated show. The many teens in attendance were blasting tracks off tracks Travis Scott’s new album, Rodeo, as well as My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy; the “Why You Always Lying” track even made an appearance. The long waiting period could have easily turned into a mixer.
Most of the time was spent watching the behind-the-scenes camera capturing New York’s fashion elites congregating before the show. Celebrities from all walks of life — Michael Strahan, Common, Anna Wintour — mingled amongst the people. The entire ordeal had a Sunday afternoon church potluck feel. It’s one of Kanye’s greatest traits: the ability to conjure the communal spirit between us.
Yeezy Season 2 mirrored the first iteration, with harsh overhanging lights illuminating the concrete floor as a stage for Kanye’s army of models. Season 2 featured a drill sergeant, clad in Kanye’s monochromatic post-apocolyptic garb, leading the models onto the stage with a series of drill instructions. The models marched out in waves arranged by skin tone.
The eclectic mix of models really enriched the show. Models of every height and color marched like an army spawned out of a crossover of The Matrix and The Walking Dead. Kanye takes a lot of criticism from the internet for his tattered apparel and, yes, individually, this clothing could make one look like a homeless Star Wars Jedi. However the post-apocalyptic threads come off as disarming when worn as a large, diverse group. As the waves of models continued to roll in, the clothing gained an air of ubiquity conjoining the array of skin tones. Kanye doesn’t want to make a few individuals look dope; he wants to pop a wheelie on the entire zeitgeist. Perhaps the most enthralling model was a man with dreads who waded onto the floor smoking a cigarette.
During the final minutes of the show, an unfinished track (later revealed to be called “Fade”) off Kanye’s new album blared on the speakers as Kanye entered the room. The unveiling of a new track wasn’t much of surprise, since Kanye premiered “Wolves” at the Yeezy Season 1 showing, but it was quite a treat nonetheless. Kanye skipped down the center of the stage with a smile surveying his vast army of models. He reached the front, crossed his arms, and nodded: it was good.
Kanye is perhaps the only artist with enough social cachet to fill theaters worldwide for a live stream of a fashion show. This show didn’t betray that confidence; Yeezy season is officially in full force.