Video star Teyana Taylor walked, models fainted and some people weren't happy: here’s what you need to know
With last season’s enormous presentation at Madison Square Garden – complete with Balmain X Yeezy-clad Kardashians, Naomi Campbell and Young Thug modelling, hundreds involved both on stage and off, The Life of Pablo’s debut, and controversy over the show's references – we’ve come to expect presentations on a whole different plane where Yeezy is concerned. For Season 4, Kanye West once again collided fashion with performance art in a runway show-turned-presentation at on Roosevelt Island, presented by long-term collaborator adidas and with art director Vanessa Beecroft. For those of you who couldn't be there IRL or manage to stream it on Tidal – here's our round-up of what went down.
EVERYONE KICKED OFF ABOUT THE CASTING CALL
Continuing his career-long reign as king of controversy, requesting “Multiracial women only” for this season's model casting got Kanye into a social media storm. The public and press alike debated what he actually meant by “multiracial”, who that might or might not exclude, and whether or not you can actually say that. He explained the wording to Vogue “How do you word the idea that you want all variations of black?... How do you word that exactly?” And as he pointed out, “the ten thousand people that showed up didn’t have a problem with it.”
A FEW ELEMENTS WERE REVEALED BEFOREHAND
Kim teased us with first looks of Season 4 footwear, tweeting a picture of the new Yeezy 350 trainers, and then by being pictured herself wearing Season 4 thigh-high PVC boots the day before the show. In a more official announcement, the invitation told us to expect a performance from contemporary (and similarly controversial) performance artist Vanessa Beecroft; making it the fourth out of four seasons that the two have collaborated.
THE INVITATION GAVE NOTHING AWAY
With details kept to the bare minimum – Kanye only announced the event’s kick off time when guests received their invites on the morning of the show – those attending were transported via shuttle bus (school-trip style, reportedly without snacks) to the mysterious Roosevelt Island location. Don’t quote us on this, but we’re betting this is the first time a NYFW show has been held next to an abandoned smallpox hospital.
IT ALL HAPPENED INSIDE A GIANT TRIANGLE
The crowd of models – perhaps more diverse than critics had expected, and cast by Dazed’s casting director Noah Shelley – stood in the triangular lawn of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park (make of that what you will), as the white runway led models around the perimeter. Speculating on the venue choice: as a political reference, it doesn't get much bigger than a park that represents freedom of speech, freedom to worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. Then again, perhaps it was just an obtuse reference to the Illuminati...
IT WAS FASHIONABLY LATE
Of course, when Kanye told us it was going to start at 3pm, it was never going to be 3pm. Two plus hours of aerial New York shots broadcast on the livestream and many Pablo replays later, the models were given some water and the show got underway.
TEYANA TAYLOR WALKED
Fresh from the unveiling of the Grace Jones, 70s porn-inspired Fade video last week and her gold leaf-clad freestyle dance to Champion, the dancer-turned-Kanye-muse made an appearance on the runway in a skintight cropped vest and cycling shorts.
THE MODELS WERE A BIT UNCOMFORTABLE
It was hot, there was a lot of waiting, and some of the shoes were extremely high. This meant one unfortunate model fainted, many chose to sat down, and Instagram muse du jour Amina Blue did what we've all done at the end of a night out, and slide her shoes off mid-walk.
THERE WERE NO MALE MODELS
Unlike previous shows, only womenswear was on display on the runway. While the models standing in the triangular centre of the runway wore leotards in typically Yeezy tones varying from white, beige, green and black, around them others marched in oversized puffa jackets, thigh-high boots and considerably more put together looks.
EDITORS WERE NOT HAPPY
Twitter erupted with reports of fashion editors walking out mid-show and there was plenty of outrage at the models standing in the heat for so long. Some even went as far as calling for a Yeezy boycott. Still, the man himself didn’t seem too put out by it...
Stay tuned for full coverage from the show.