Kanye West's latest performance wasn't all about Kanye.
Kanye West's latest performance wasn't all about Kanye.
In fact, the often self-aggrandizing rapper never even appeared on stage during his Yeezy Season 5 show Wednesday — making it far-and-away his most humble fashion event yet.
Unlike at previous Yeezy fashion presentations, West kept the focus squarely on his latest Adidas clothing collection and the models who were wearing his designs.
The show — set in an intimate, nearly pitch-black auditorium at New York's Pier 59 Studios — mostly played out on four towering video screens forming a 3-D rectangle in the center of the room. The screens showed footage of the models displaying West's clothes one by one, as J. Holiday's "Bed" blared from the speakers.
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Toward the end of the 13-minute show, the models emerged from backstage in the same outfits they wore in the videos, and took a quick lap around the room.
"It was great. Fire," the rapper Tyga, who attended with girlfriend Kylie Jenner, told the Daily News after the show.
Others in the star-studded audience — which included West's wife Kim Kardashian, who sat with Vogue editor Anna Wintour — were similarly captivated.
Model Hailey Baldwin, who wasn't involved with the show, said afterward that she would wear most of the clothes West debuted at the event, which featured an array of grungy hoodies and jackets, camouflage pants and new Yeezy running shoes.
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She was equally impressed by West's innovative presentation.
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"I thought that was cool. I like the thing about the screens," Baldwin, the daughter of actor Stephen Baldwin, told the Daily News. "I thought that was a good idea. I've never seen anybody do that before."
After drawing backlash for only casting "multi-racial" women at his last show, West employed a diverse group of models Wednesday that included both males and females.
Even the models admitted they were surprised the 39-year-old "Famous" rapper — and typically shameless self-promoter — didn't leave backstage as he has at his past fashion shows.
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But even without a making appearance, it was clearly a Kanye West event.
The screens showed footage of various models, one by one, displaying West's clothes.
“I felt like he loves the whole environment, and he loves fashion and he loves being a designer," said Yeezy model Mona Matsuoka, who walked in the show. "He was very into it."
Yeezy Season 5 was a far cry from West's previous two fashion shows. Last September, his event was more like a circus than a runway show.
Attendees were bussed to the remote Roosevelt Island location at an abandoned smallpox hospital, where they waited hours in the scalding sun for the show to start. By the end, models were fainting and fashion editors were fuming.
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Despite scathing reviews, a confident West flipped off a room full of fashion editors days later at the Harper's Bazaar Icons Ball, telling an audience packed with fashion media heavyweights, "you can't be scared to fail."
And last winter, the hip-hop star combined his Yeezy Season 3 clothing collection with an album launch for "The Life of Pablo" at a sold-out Madison Square Garden.
But the latest, more low-key display seems to mirror West's current lifestyle. He's remained largely out of the spotlight since a days-long hospitalization in November stemming from a nervous breakdown.
His wife has maintained a similarly low profile since she was robbed at gunpoint of more than $5 million worth of jewelry by intruders in her Paris hotel room in October. On Wednesday, Kardashian quickly popped up and left seconds before West's show concluded.
This was West's first fashion show since those incidents, and even though he wasn’t centerstage this time, the rapper managed to hit a high note.Send a Letter to the Editor
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