Kanye's With the Band
Daily Beast fashion correspondent Renata Espinosa shares the best from the tents: Kanye West's catwalk cameo, Tyson Beckford's shoe fetish, and the acid-wash chic at Miss Sixty.
So far during Fashion Week, rapper and verifiable fashion hound Kanye West hit some very unexpected shows—Preen and Band of Outsiders included—as well as some more predictable ones, like Y-3 and Calvin Klein. I love that he takes fashion—real fashion—so seriously! At Band of Outsiders, which displayed in presentation format, Kanye decided to jump up on the platform and pose with the models, eventually getting his entourage to join him. He seemed especially fond of the red pieces at Y-3 (maybe now we know why he made those red Louis Vuitton sneakers); he was pointing them out to Milla Jovovich, who sat next to him in Yohji Yamamato's (Y-3) front row.
Milla Jovovich was seated next to Kim Kardashian, and oh, what a juxtaposition. When they started whispering to each other during the show, I had a hard time imagining what they could possibly be saying—something about tight jeans from outer space, perhaps? Sparkly singer Rufus Wainwright was also there, wearing a Yohji Yamamoto leather cap, and said he planned to party with a bunch of crazy hairdressers later that night, after stopping by the Miss Sixty show. Tyson Beckford, model and host of Bravo's Make Me a Supermodel, told reporters at Y-3 that he has about 100 pairs of sunglasses and 600 pairs of shoes, but apparently only one pair of Y-3 for Adidas. As if that wasn't enough of a slight, he sported Nikes to the show.
Yamamoto showed children's wear for the first time, on a series of impossibly cute kids who were definitely the highlight of his long, boring show. While I did like the equestrian theme, it highlighted the fact that Y-3 really benefits from the bells and whistles of its typically elaborate presentations (think: ice-block igloos and free Y-3 blankets; a moving conveyor-belt runway with the Hudson River as a backdrop). Here, there wasn't much to distract from the fact that this is just fancy athletic wear. No offense to the genius of Yohji Yamamoto, of course. This is just his commercial gig, so it's going to be repetitive.
At Miss Sixty, Mischa Barton laughed a lot. Whether it was at the clothes or just the comments that her second-row seated friend was making, who knows? Oddly, we could see Barton wearing a lot of these trashy "motorcycle chic" clothes on the runway, and she'll probably show up to a Hollywood event near you in the acid-washed denim sometime soon. In other words, it was very LA, as if Gwen Stefani had done a collection for Hot Topic in the mid-'90s.
My favorites of the weekend were Tom Scott and Matthew Ames. Tom Scott makes inspired, architectural knitwear that always has an unusual twist: a knit scarf with gloves at the end, say, or alpaca yarn made to look like fur (he's not a fan of the real stuff); a sweater with circular hole cut-outs that resembles an exaggerated, holey fisherman's sweater; and brilliant neon colors (the hot-pink and throbbing purple were my favorites). His show, entitled "Things I Don't Like," really translated to "things that are campy but that I secretly love," like Dynasty and the Golden Girls. Think sophisticated, creative re-imaginings of crazy thrift-store sweaters made into something hip and beautiful. Staged in an empty storefront, he scattered the looks amid racks of dry-clearing bags, with creepy mannequins and fluorescent lighting, like the ominous setting of a horror movie.
Matthew Ames is known for his austere, sculptural, minimalist designs. They are so otherworldly that you imagine this is what people 1,000 years from now will all be wearing (or, at the same time, what druids or nomadic herders in the Sahara Desert would have worn 1,000 years ago). The elegant swaths of cashmere, the ultrasuede ponchos and obi-cinched black silk jersey dresses made me want to start an Ames cult just so I could have an excuse to wear his clothes… preferably in a Zen garden, on a daily basis.
Renata Espinosa is the New York editor of Fashion Wire Daily. She is also the co-founder of impressionistic fashion and art blog TheNuNu and sometimes a backup dancer for "The Anna Copa Cabanna Show."