After a much anticipated New York Yeezy SZN 4 show, a few Runaway members sat down to discuss some of our most prominent thoughts. Beneath the beautiful display, fainting models, and angry industry members, we essentially reach a larger problem among today's spectacle. Check out the words below.
L (LaSalle): That was weak as fuck.
E (Eric Bonner): Someone send pics.
L: The location was great. A lot of industry leaders were trying to leave as soon as possible though.
E: Clothes just aren't that good it seems.
MJ (Meredith): That was weak as FUCK. The location was beautiful though, so epic, the rest was a big ass bust. Amina taking her shoes off was the best part.
C (Clayton): To me the grandeur of the location made the lack of substance in the show much more glaring. Like I kept waiting for some kind of choreography, some kind of show of some sort that would justify such a fuckin' production.
L: There was essentially nothing, Kanye will say he tried to channel the beauty of simplicity, but you don't get backed by adidas and have the entire industry in attendance to JUST give that type of experience. I agree Clayton once I saw the venue, I was excited. I was disappointed at the end.
MJ: I mean it must have felt so shitty for the industry people who were carted out on buses, held an extra hour, just to see that show. I did appreciate the lack of color though, unlike SZN 3.
L: I was not a fan last SZN's color palette.
C: It's obvious that the clothing is an ostentatiously divisive reason for Kanye to show us his love of spectacle and himself. Which is fine I guess because the boy is raking in money from it, but it's still such a clusterfuck of the craft he supposedly loves that I can't help but be posed.
L: I do agree, There is versatility in this collection, but SZN 1 and 2 were like that. Not to mention that damn near every piece shown today will successfully be copycatted by DOZENS of smaller brands. His influence/opportunity is literally watering down the market.
C: Yes. Yep. Yes. Actively degrading the already tenuous quality of design work in the fashion world right now.
MJ: It's also watering down the market because it's stealing from other designers so blatantly and the the smaller labels steal from his stealing. Also any show where the girls can't walk in the shoes is not a good sign for the product that will be put out. Considering shoes are his biggest thing...Apparently not women's shoes though.
L: Is Amina just clumsy or is the shoe that bad?
MJ: The shoes are really bad, models were lumping all over the place.
L: Honestly you look at Kanye and how he wants to influence fashion so much, but there is quite a list of rappers/musicians who I think could do it better than him. I hate to doubt Kanye cause I really fuck with him, but damn.
C: Being the "top" of the fashion pyramid, and having the insane celebrity that he does, I'm not sure he even aware of the effect that he's having. I believe he truly still thinks he's a boon to the clothing world, I think he really just doesn't have the perspective or access to see what he's doing to the folks lower down the food chain. I think the culture machine actually is as responsible for his sins as he is personally.
L: Exactly, and honestly after seeing that he put the the "Chicago" Pablo Pop-Up in Northbrook. I don't know exactly how in tune he REALLY wants to be with urban culture and the people who idolize him the most.
MJ: I don't think he made that decision
C: I agree.
MJ: I think Donda or some executive made that choice. There's no way he can handle that much autonomy.
C: That's just crunching numbers. Knowing white suburban kids have more money.
L: Very very true, but those white kids would travel to the city, city kids wouldn't travel to the suburbs.
C: Honestly though fuck Northbrook. Fuck that place. I think the amount that would make it into the city in the eyes of a marketer doesn't compare, it was fiscally smarter to put it in the belly of the chubby white beast.
C: Ya, really doesn't fit. It shines a light directly on the logistical/business backbone beneath Kanye's lovey dovey "ghetto Oprah" motif.
E: I credit him for trying but he's really just doing a contemporary version of pastel with like major logistical backing. The clothes aren't anything of significance and the dude does make a good and versatile shoe but c'mon like another ten body suits in nude and earth toned colors? And one thing I continue to harp on with his clothing concepts is that they lack serious art direction, where has the narrative gone? It's just a display now.
L: Vanessa Beecroft? She has a huge hand in this doesn't she? She has done so well in the past.
MJ: She works a lot with women because her work centers around themes commenting on eating disorders. Essentially she used to do what Kanye has her do now but with naked women.
E: In my opinion, like an artist who has done so much better with concepts like these is Björk. He never comments on the concept though and it's so frustrating. His editorials are always shit (to me) and he bites so much because he's Kanye it's infuriating.
MJ: I don't know, I really like her work, I think it makes sense she works with Kanye, because all artists are up their own ass about wanting celebrity and notoriety, but that first show where she choreographed it was really powerful and really different than what had been done before.
MJ: That first show was pretty insane in my opinion, and then they remained to be the same exact thing over and over which is what made them frustrating.
E: Like it was unique in many senses for me. I like the formation it's cool. But like at this point it's tired to me.
C: I agree I thought SZN Two was really strong, both spectacle and garment. But Eric you're right my dude, the lack of innovation and attention to evolution // narrative makes the actual art seem very canned, trite.
E: Going back to how he's watered down the industry. His sensitivity combined with his celebrity has allowed the natural criticism that comes with a subjective art form to be completely censored and hushed
C: Not in his music though! At least not in the past! He's been able to carry through the idea so that it really hits home...but maybe he's just frayed now, too many ideas, too much attention.
L: I've always thought this, and Eric knows I feel this way about musical performances too, but I HATE large venues. There is no intimacy. The closes people to the SZN 3 models were 25 feet away.
C: I feel what you're saying..but I also think that there's power in spectacle. If done with the right motivation/construction I think it can serve a purpose that's difficult to carry off with a smaller/more intimate setting.
L: True Clayton!
E: If he had the TLOP thing with MSG (Madison Square Garden) empty that would have been a statement.
E: It could have combined the refugee look with the Katrina aftermath which he was so vocal about.
MJ: DAMN Eric.
E: Make everyone stand outside on flat screens. YES. I'm talking epic, like Yeezus on the mountain top with the Margiela mask.
L: I mean to wrap things up, we just have to keep an eye on Ye' and a better eye on the culture he keeps influencing.