Yeezy II: an Artistic Success

This past week, singer-turned-designer Kanye West presented his newest fashion line, Yeezy II, during New York Fashion Week in the most dramatic way possible—but that’s not much of a surprise.

Even though it’s far from a traditional movie, West fans were able to watch the fashion show at noon on Wednesday, Sept. 16 in select theatres across the globe.  Prior to the event, West took to Twitter to announce the 36 different cities the NYFW show would be airing in—setting off a whirlwind of excitement, and requests for the day off, among Yeezy fans.

Last year, West debuted his first clothing line, Yeezy I.  However, after terminating his contract with Adidas Sportswear, the 38 year-old rapper and father opted to create his own sel-designed collection.  Although this was West’s first independent fashion show, he managed to stick to his usual aesthetic of neutral shades and androgynous models.

Image courtesy of

The show consisted of multiple groups of models, combined according to their skin tones.  Kim Kardashian, West’s wife, tweeted a photo of the models in each section with the classifications “light,” “medium” and “dark.”  The models were ordered into the main show area by real-life drill sergeants—adding to the militaristic feel of the clothing line.  While some might have expected the king of controversy to make a social statement with the pairing of skin tones, West said it was strictly for aesthetic purposes.

“It’s just a painting, just using clothing as a canvas of proportion and color,” West told Vogue when asked about the pairing of models.

While the skin tones of the models were divided, there were a number of consistencies among the garb the models in each section wore.  Across the board, each skin tone rocked a variety of cuts of clothing—from loose-fitting sweaters, hoodies and peacoats to former-fitting body suits, made of both solid colored materials and fishnet.  All of the outfits consisted of different hues of khaki, brown, grey, and black.  While there was the occasional hint of dull green, the “Good Life” singer’s collection was consistently dull the whole way through—and, in this case, dull might not be such a bad thing after all.

Even though it’s debatable whether or not the average teenager would blow their extra cash on Yeezy II attire, the collection is certainly fit for the runway.  From start to finish, the show was a cohesive piece of artwork.

Image courtesy of

The main discussion surrounding Yeezy II is whether or not the collection embodies the power of simplicity.  While West may have aimed to create simplistic, understated pieces, much of the line appears to lack any sort of detailing.

It would have been nice to see more tailored pieces with synched waists—maybe even a few patterned pieces, as well.  The collection lacks a middle ground in terms of fit and print, as most of the pieces are skin-tight or loosely draped materials in strictly neutral shades.  In other words, while the clothing looks good on men and women fit for the runway, they may not appear quite as flattering on those of us who haven’t made it to the gym lately.  Most Americans prefer clothing that is fit to their given body types and, unfortunately, much of this collection may appear somewhat unflattering on fuller-figured buyers.

Luckily though, for those who have found a piece in the collection they like, West has made most of the clothing available at a surprisingly low cost.  Affordability definitely works to Yeezy II’s advantage, as name-brand designer’s clothing isn’t the easiest for everyday Americans to get their hands on.

While Yeezy II’s looks might not be the most logical for the average American, the collection is a definite runway success.  From consistent shades of clothing to carefully created color gradients made of skin tones, the Yeezy II fashion show proved West’s artistry if nothing else.

-Liam McGurl

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