It has been a blur of blond hair, variously revealing outfits, and dramatic catwalk appearances.
It was called Paris Fashion Week, but really it should have been renamed Kim Kardashian Paris Fashion Week. If you weren’t a fashion journalist immersed in the hoopla of tapered trousers, billowing skirts, and sightings of Karl Lagerfeld, it seemed Kardashian had chosen to transform Paris into her playground for the week. She elected to attend some fashion shows—Vuitton, Lanvin, Balmain, whatevs—on the side, but really it was her fairground ride.
Perhaps the shows had been scheduled around her, and husband Kanye West, of course, her own either very welcome or creepily controlling private stylist. Count instead, as E! Online did helpfully, her “13 show-stopping looks”—“and we’re still counting,” E! said, with photographs of Kim K. in various bondage-y, bandage-y, tight, fun dresses and tops illustrating the text.
Kardashian’s successful Parisian-based bid for a week of tabloid domination began with the unveiling of the suddenly transformed blond hair, at the Balmain show on March 5, and comparisons to (as The Daily Beast noted) Legolas from Lord of the Rings, Elsa from Frozen, Khaleesi from Game of Thrones, and Draco Malfoy from Harry Potter.
Every day has been show-and-tell on the doorstep of their Parisian hotel, Le Royal Monceau, as Kardashian and West head off for another busy day of being photographed at other places. And so, in Paris, Kardashian has aggressively pursued her aim of becoming an international style supremo—rather than just the main player in E!’s top-rated reality show, Keeping Up With the Kardashians, which handily returns for its Season 10 premiere on Sunday. Her major weapon in Paris was not just the photographers who trailed her and West everywhere they went but also her own Instagram account, with its just-shy-of-30 million followers and Kardashian herself its own savvy curator.
On Wednesday, the couple left their hotel for a fashion show, with Kardashian, albeit surrounded by dozens of photographers screaming at her, looking as if she was being wheeled about like a mannequin by her husband, who, the Daily Mail says, “couldn’t resist taking a sneaky peek at his wife’s ample assets.”
For American readers, the Mail means breasts, rather than spreadsheets of her financial affairs, although who is it to say what turns West on behind closed doors?
On that occasion, Kardashian was clad in a top that showed off her breasts, and a fur coat, worn off the shoulder, so we could see how see-through the top was.
At another moment, US Weekly judged she had gone “modest,” and this would be true if modesty’s definition has now extended to include “1930s brothel madam.”
At a branch of the lingerie store La Perla and in a shop where she was stalked by photographers while trying on a gigantic fur coat, Kardashian was wearing a black, plunge-neck jumpsuit with rhinestones. And of course, the photographers were there when West put his hand on Kardashian’s bum when they emerged from a taxi. The city of lurrvvve, folks, the city of lurrrvvve.
Her blond hair was then touched up. Naturally, this too was recorded by Kardashian via Instagram.
But of course, the jackals were most exercised by Kardashian’s fashion fails, especially in the city of fashion in its premier week of fashion, where etiolated fashion editors totter from one show to the next, nourished by the odd beansprout.
Kardashian served up a class-A bizarro outfit likened by the British Mirror newspaper to traffic fencing. Obviously the Beast loves it, especially as an F-U to all the preciously subtle, stunning outfits of the fashion cognoscenti around her.
And then, just as Fashion Week ended, a sequence of shots from Kardashian’s Instagram account showed her center-stage with the cool kids in town—her model half-sister Kendall Jenner and new-generation supermodels Gigi Hadid (Yolanda from Beverly Hills’ Housewives daughter!) and Cara Delevingne.
These photographs came with the message “Not insecure at all standing next to these super models.” Excellent humble-brag from someone who clearly revels in her own body and showing off that body, and whose body is far more distinctive, memorable, and lucrative than the size-zero women she was photographed with.
You wonder, doesn’t she ever get exhausted with it? But the look in her eyes is of some undefinable hunger—real and physical? for more headlines?—rather than weariness.
Amid the glamorous chaos, Kardashian’s Parisian Instagram bulletins also featured a sweet shot of daughter North. Indeed, Kardashian’s most surprising shot from France was her most recent (at the time of writing). It did not garner many headlines, it didn’t feature her in a tight top, in a scrum of ravenous paps, or surrounded by glamorous buddies, or in the doorway of her hotel looking blankly out to the popping flashlights.
It was a very beautiful, peaceful shot of an avenue of trees, shot in the half-light: “Romantic day with my husband outside Paris,” the caption read. Its subtlety was so jolting, so antithetical to the insane bubble around her, it almost made you almost cheer for Kim Kardashian. Sunday night will no doubt cure us all of that. But she doesn’t care: Paris Fashion Week was an audacious Mission Accomplished.