The recently released pictures of the Yeezy Season 6 collection imitated paparazzi photos, claiming to mock the very thing which has given the family their fameInstagram: kimkardashian

After the confusion and ambiguity during New York Fashion Week in September over whether or not Kanye West’s fashion line would be presenting its widely-anticipated latest collection, Season 6 of Yeezy is finally being released. However, no show or presentation is expected in the near future. Instead, West released the first nine looks through his wife Kim Kardashian’s social media. This stark contrast to the artistry of the classic runway show is a move which in my view has been misguidedly praised by fashion critics.

Praise of West’s latest work, specifically the way it has been released, is crystallised in the phrase ’fashion genius’, which Emma Hope Allwood grants the collection in Dazed magazine, a stance which seems to feed into the celebrity obsession on which West is explicitly monopolising in this latest collection.

“This latest release screams ‘marketing ploy’ much more than it does artistic ingenuity”

West has been known to present his collections in innovative ways, but this latest release screams ‘marketing ploy’ much more than it does artistic ingenuity. Kim Kardashian, who needs little introduction, showcases the collection in recreated paparazzi-style shots, in what amounts to a somewhat blasé nod to the couples’ own fame. To me, the self-awareness inherent in the shots, far from being a pivot of agency for Kim and Kanye, is nothing more than a reflection of the self-absorbed nature of the class of celebrities who have become commodities and brands in themselves.

The shots are clearly intended to utilise the couples’ fame, especially Kim Kardashian’s undeniably immense influence on style, but for me, the collection has the reverse effect: it feels like a sell-out. Kim’s own fame overshadows the designs, which consequently become less about fashion and artistry, and more a blatant pursuit of fame and capital. This somewhat undermines the artistic and political intent of West’s earlier work in fashion.

Kim Kardashian took to her Instagram to showcase her husband's latest designsInstagram: kimkardashian

In the past, West’s presentations and shows have been undeniably innovative, artistically and politically credible. The shows are characterised by the dystopian atmosphere created; washed out nudes, tans, and greys are dominant and unifying. This opaqueness and subtlety is emphasised by the way the shows are staged and presented; the models deviate from the traditional runway walk, while instead dynamic spaces are presented, created through uniform shapes and ordered formations. There is something political in this dystopian uniformity created in the unique spaces that Yeezy has brought, furthering the legacy of celebrities as successful creatives in fashion as has also been obvious in the striking and brilliant work Rihanna has created in her Fenty collections, a new staple at NYFW.

Despite my fettered love for the Yeezy designs, Allwood’s claim that this latest collection is ‘fashion genius’ is also blatantly questionable in the artistic sense. The looks worn by Kardashian-West aren’t innovative, but offer more of the same from the designer. The tans, beiges and greys are gorgeous, the wide-leg trousers and trainers are stylish and chic, yet they are certainly no major break from what West has been designing in his previous collections. He certainly has a different flair from the classic rigidity of major fashion houses, yet I think the release of the latest season undermines this credibility he has built as a designer.


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What has been read by some as a mockery and criticism of the media-frenzy surrounding the Kardashian clan screams much more of the self-absorption that underlies all of Kanye West’s work. Yeezy cannot escape the shadow of its designer, for better or worse. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the sixth season. This collection is merely the most explicit example of the truism which plagues individuals who like the Yeezy line; you have to get over the designer’s ego in order to appreciate the collection, and in this case I think the presence of Kanye et al is a little too big for me to see past.

Overall, Yeezy’s marketing ploy is certainly ‘genius’ from a money-making perspective, but that doesn’t make it artistically credible. Giving West the credit of making an artistic statement about a society obsessed with celebrity culture is perhaps too generous when the Kardashian-West family continue to monopolise and monetise this obsession with celebrity

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