Kanye West Steps Out of the Spotlight for New York Fashion Week Show

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Kanye West has never been shy of the spotlight, but at his Season 5 Yeezy New York Fashion Week show this Wednesday, he surprised his audience when he never even stepped out on stage.

This was a stark departure from his previous Yeezy debuts.  Look back at last winter, where West premiered his Season 3 line at an over-the-top Madison Square Garden event.  The rapper turned designer not only used the show to introduce his newest fashion line but simultaneously debuted his new album, “The Life of Pablo.”  The album launch-fashion show hybrid was certainly far from traditional, which was everything to be expected from the unabashed artist.

Or even compare the extravagant Madison Square Garden show to last September’s Season 4 debut, which was held at an abandoned smallpox hospital on New York City’s Randall’s Island, where models and editors alike were left waiting hours in the heat for the show to begin.

As illustrated in the past, West is a big fan of the unexpected and outrageous, so a low-key, more traditional Season 5 show was more of a curiosity than a runway housed in an abandoned hospital.

Wednesday’s Fashion Week show, which was held at New York’s Pier 59 Studios, was focused solely on his Adidas clothing line, letting the models and the clothes be the center of the attention.

The dimly-lit space was equipped with four large video screens that created a 3-D rectangle in the middle of the space.  The fashion show played out on each of the screens, which showed individual models sporting the Yeezy line.

The Season 5 line was reminiscent of West’s previous collections, including grunge sweatshirts and jackets, camouflage pants, and new editions of Yeezy running shoes.

The 13-minute show concluded with the models featured in the videos walking out from backstage and taking a lap around the auditorium to show the looks live.

West’s out-of-character approach to subtlety and a more traditional Fashion Week show didn’t lose him any praise from his inner circle, and celebrity guests applauded the event.

“It was great. Fire,” rapper Tyga told Daily Mail after seeing the show with girlfriend Kylie Jenner.

West’s wife Kim Kardashian was also in attendance, sitting with Vogue editor Anna Wintour.

Among other famed audience members was model Hailey Baldwin, who commented after the show that she would wear many of the pieces in West’s new line.  She also praised West’s visual approach to this season’s show.

“I thought that was cool.  I like the thing about the screens,” the model told Dailey News.  “I thought that was a good idea.  I’ve never seen anybody do that before.”

Even West’s models were surprised and impressed with how the designer’s take on the show.

“I felt like he loved the whole environment, and he loves fashion and he loves being a designer,” said Mona Matsuoka, a model in the show.  “He was very into it.”

It seems that West’s backstage role in the Season 5 Yeezy debut aligns closely with recent events in his personal life.  West has kept a low-profile ever since being hospitalized for a nervous breakdown in November.  Wife Kim Kardashian also had a minimal presence at the show, as she has been avoiding the spotlight since being robbed at gunpoint in Paris this October.

West may have been pulling the strings from behind the curtain for this show, but maybe the time out of the spotlight can give his designs an equal chance to shine.

Featured Image via Flickr/Diego Quintana

My favorite things in life include cozy coffee shops, window-shopping, wearing the perfect outfit, or writing the most satisfying words.

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