In a last minute move, off any official calendar, Kanye West presented his sophomore Yeezy Season 2 collection to the fashion world.
The show was a rainbow coalition of street casting that saw models come out in color blocks, both in terms of the clothing worn and the shades of their skin. What they all had in common were the same sporty streetwear attire that made then a united urban army.
This army idea was reinforced by the mise en scène of the show. Artist Vanessa Beecroft had what were ostensibly drill sergeants call into formation the different groups in rows of four and then gave them their marching orders to walk in step down the catwalk.
On paper, the idea of using military maneuvers to present a collection of baggy hoodie sweatshirts, loose pants, second skin leggings, and nude bodysuits as if they were a post-apocalyptic militia might have sounded good. A living art project meant to be a conversation starter about race or the dangers of conformity or maybe even the importance of having an individual voice. But in execution it felt like the designer was trying too hard to be controversial or cool. Even West's daughter North tired of the show's slow pace and had a mini front row melt down.
West should be commended for his continued commitment to fashion. He is an earnest supporter and avid student of the subject. However, school is not yet out for this multitalented artist.