Leslie Price: This is amazing:
From today’s #yeezyseason4 show…I have to say, as a first timer I was initially kind of giddy to have this quintessential, much talked about #nyfw experience, but after a hot hour-long bus ride over to ROOSEVELT Island, then another hour or two inching along the line literally melting as we waited for the darn thing to start, I felt like all my complaining and discomfort was total bullshit compared to the 100 or so girls standing stock still for what seemed like hours roasting in the sun…with no water. A few of them sat to rest, one collapsed backwards while a few of her fellow performers came to her aid and, eventually, bottles of water appeared…all the while I was wondering, should someone call the paramedics? Should I CALL the paramedics? Is this part of the performance? Was the joke on me? Eventually the show began, and it definitely had its moments, but I just couldn’t help sitting there feeling like a hypocrite watching a bunch of women suffer like that in the name of fashion. #r29fw @r29fashion
Yvonne Dunlevie: So were Stella Bugbee’s tweets
Leslie: Do we feel like we can add something here? Everyone who went seems outraged.
Harling Ross: It was very interesting observing people’s reactions on Twitter. Going from “Cool! Yeezy!” to a collective breaking point
Yvonne: I agree with Stella’s point about maybe the responsible thing is to write nothing at all
Leslie: It’s worth covering if someone has the time/energy to think about it and write something
Verena: @leandramedine: @ameliadiamond @haley have you been following and/or do you have strong thoughts? Also, I was hoping for something more cutthroat from the Times than this.
Haley Nahman: Hmmm I saw the Stella tweets and have heard some of the same things being said. Don’t know if I have a different angle though and might be unnecessary for us to just reiterate the same points. It’s not so different from my essay on the Famous video though. Like…how far is too far to make a statement?
Leslie: If we can come up with the right angle on this i think it’s worth it. It’s evoking feelings for me and I wasn’t even there/don’t usually care much. And I think readers will have strong opinions. Questions:
Why is the fashion industry propping him up at all?
Why did editors even go?
Do we all have to care because of social media?
And how cynical is that?
When will it end?
Aside from accessories, what is even happening here?
Does it need to be a show, that people spend hours commuting to?
Why a bus?
Why not the tram?!?!
That is my biggest Q, honestly. Wouldn’t the tram have been more fun/more convenient? I don’t get the bus. Can we figure out how people got there? This is what Billboard says:
The fashion set is in for a wild ride with the Yeezy Season 4 show before it has even started. Guests headed to Kanye West’s latest runway offering and NYFW kickoff received an email on Wednesday morning directing them to pre-arranged shuttle buses in Midtown, which will drop them off and pick them up at Roosevelt Island.
Pickup is at 1:30 p.m., ahead of the 3 p.m. presentation, and anyone who misses the bus has been pre-warned of a 15-minute walk to the venue from the nearest taxi and driver drop-off location. Roosevelt Island is located in the East River, under the shadow of the Queensboro Bridge.
Haley: I think a cog makes the most sense, where we let the discussion happen mostly in the comments.
Leslie: Yeah. I do think readers will have thoughts on this.
Leandra Medine: Also!!! When models fainted, they did nothing
Leslie: Which is so so so so horrifying. He’s a showman, do they not have an event planner? Like, he goes on tours.
Leslie: I think whether you/we like it or not it is the only thing people will be discussing today and to ignore it on MR would feel weird.
Leandra: Yeah. Would love to keep it as reflective of a complex and intelligent opinion as possible. Why don’t we publish this Slack chat?
Leslie: Good call
Leandra: You know what’s weird is last year I was invited, didn’t go and then slammed it. And Kanye’s response was “thanks for your honesty.” The part that’s confusing and kind of frustrating for me is that he succeeds in getting the press. All of it. When he very well knows the response will be outrage. And it still feels like he won. Because he did! They/we all went.
Haley: Right. That was what frustrated me about the Famous video! He gets people’s eyes because he shocks them and then he’s like “See? I’m provocative! I got people talking!”
Leslie: The clothes…are not shoppable? Or some are?
Leandra: Oh I don’t know about whether the clothes are shoppable. I’ve never seen them. But I do know his Pablo stuff BLEW out. And I’m borderline into the heels.
Leslie: Guy’s a genius. Sorry
Haley: The runway show actually had clothes. So what was the point of the girls in the leotards in the middle?
Krista: That was all by Vanessa Beecroft. I still don’t really know how I feel about her art
Amelia Diamond: I think some of Vanessa Beecroft’s art is like, blind racism
Verena: Especially all of her stuff for Kanye. That’s also what’s so boring.
Leandra: THE CLOTHES WERE NOT ANY DIFFERENT FROM LAST FEBRUARY’S PRESENTATION. Is that the elephant were not addressing?
Verena: I dont know how much of an elephant that is. Like, I’m willing to give him credit that his clothes/collections are meant to be part of one uniform whole, but then CHILL with the theatrics or do it better. OR use the uniformity to do something compelling and different
Krista: He made an interesting statement that he wants to make anonymous clothes because he wants to be invisible.
Yvonne: Kanye is perhaps the least invisible person there is, largely by his own doing
Krista: I know, I chucked when I read that.
Leandra: K you know who already did that? And who has been applauded publicly for doing that? Phoebe Philo. That’s not a novel or interesting statement. Verbatim pulled from a T Magazine story from Feb 2014. Also, if you’re going to make invisible people clothes, don’t be so fucking literal.
Amelia: His show is not fashion. It’s press for his personal brand. I don’t know how much validity to this there is but when I first started in this industry I remember someone told me that Viktor & Rolf only even HAD a fashion show (which is like, unwearable couture) to sell their perfume, and their perfume is – financially – the business. That’s all this is to Kanye. A giant ass commercial for his Kanye West brand. And it works better than any Crest White Strips ad we’ve ever seen.
Verena: I am with Leslie that Kanye is a genius. And mostly my biggest issue with yesterday (having not been there) is the treatment of people in the show and attending the show
Leslie: Yes. It’s all so absurd.
Verena: Clothes, whatever. HUMAN DECENCY PLEASE. Like, people don’t exist purely to fuel your ego.
Leandra: That’s exactly right, Verena.
Krista: That just summed up why i feel uncomfortable about every presentation he’s done
Leandra: The thing that annoys me, following that comment, is that we are fostering this sense of, “it’s Kanye’s world, we just live in it” by attending, engaging, even just having this convo.
Haley: I wonder if more people will boycott next season.
Krista: I doubt it. People love a spectacle
Amelia: Kanye West is Instagram
Leslie: The reason I think it’s worth writing about/covering is not only because of how many actual fashion editors attended, but also because the general public does care about Kanye
Verena: Agreed! Which is why his behavior and treatment of people yesterday is so atrocious. He ALREADY has the platform. He doesn’t *need* to do the rest. The stunts.
Harling: Also remarkable to think that Kanye West will have one of the most talked about shows if not THE most talked about show this season — not in spite of what he put attendees/models through but BECAUSE of it. And that wasn’t even on purpose.
Verena: I have a real soft spot for the Kardashians, but watching them all walk in while models are literally passed out on the grass was infuriating.
Haley: Such a scary metaphor
Leslie: So disconnected from reality. Or is it all performance, all the time?
Haley: Art imitating life imitating art?
Amelia: Wait wait I was going to ask that, did the models actually faint or was that part of the choreography (like at Opening Ceremony when they fell)?
Verena: They actually fainted. Bruce Pask literally got up from the audience to help one walk. Other models grabbed water. One guy from the audience ran out into the middle to give models water. I think the most compelling thing to do would be to write literally ONLY about that.
Leslie: That goes way beyond seeing someone crying on the train and ignoring them because they might need their space in the world of New Yorkers.
Verena: Fuck his clothes and his show.
Amelia: That’s horrifying.
Leandra: On the art imitating life, life imitating art piece…There’s no difference anymore. We’re our art and our art is us. Very literally because of social media
Leslie: Who planned this?
Verena: It was 80+ degrees outside and they’d been standing in direct sun for 2+ hours without moving. Waiting for Kanye and the Kardashians to show up. Or whatever it is that caused the hold up.
Leandra: Yup they were waiting the Kardashians for an hour and a half. Very Rihanna of them.
Bottom line, I think, is that we have a moral responsibility, as the public, to make and set our own rules. To determine whether something will be valued or not and to live the principles we espouse. We have so much power in the grand scheme of our world. Don’t you think? Media engines are commanded by the trends of humans. Those humans have to be cognizant of how they’re spending their time. What they’re searching, learning, engaging with…I always think about this! I mean we’re building MR with our users. That’s a lot of power and their opinions matter. Much the same way it should in the opposite direction, right? Rejecting what we find abusive or offensive.
Haley: I think your call for more cognizance around where we deposit our attention is an interesting one. It’s something that so many unseemly parts of modern life need. But I wonder what that looks like and I wonder whose responsibility that is? I guess thoughtful discourse over splashy headlines is a good start.
Leandra: Okay, #TeamMR. Now it’s your turn.
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Photograph by Jamie McCarthy via Getty Images.