The hype surrounding Kanye West’s debut women’s fashion line, DW, was on overdrive this past weekend, as the rapper-turned-designer presented his first collection during Paris Fashion Week. Of course it was a star-studded affair, and fashion heavy-hitters like Anna Wintour, Robin Givhan, and Carine Roitfeld were in attendance. Kanye consulted on the collection with other fashion insiders, including Central Saint Martins professor and British fashion guru Louise Wilson, who taught Alexander McQueen, Giles Deacon, and many other famous designers.
Although Kanye put in a lot of work and preparation on DW, it still falls flat … or should I say heavy … to me. Some fashion editors and critics were polite enough to say that he made a valiant first attempt and the line is a work in progress. But others weren’t too shy or awestruck by Mr. West as to basically call DW a knock-off.
“[Kanye] 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 rest of the collection cribbed from the work of the designers he admires, many of whom were sitting in the audience, and whose ranks he intends to join.”
All in all, the leather and knit separates and club dresses that make up DW were too clunky, heavy, and ill-constructed. The cutouts, hoods, and deep V-necks were more suited for likes of Kanye’s ex Amber Rose … you know people who are better to look at than listen to. I won’t, however, be surprised when DW starts popping up on red carpets because celebrities are known for supporting their own, and Kanye still has thousands on his jock. But I can’t ignore the fact that Kanye doesn’t know what women want to wear, and I’ll be surprised if DW grows into a respected-for-the-fashion-not-the-designer fashion house.
Keep clicking for pics of DW, Kanye West’s debut collection.