Listen to this article


What to say about a show like Yeezy, described as season two in Kanye West’s metamorphosis from rap star to fashion prophet. In many ways, there are no more words to contribute to the Kanye phenomenon. Last season, the show was the most viewed collection on (besting Chanel, which has traditionally held the top spot for viewer traffic on the former fashion site) and generated millions of hashtags and tweets. The collection vanished from shop floors — practically before delivery. Kanye has assumed an unrivalled kingship in the fashion world, and he doesn’t need the publicity.

Perhaps Katharine Hamnett does though. West’s “best friend” and collection muse, the British designer and eco-campaigner had volunteered her archive of army fatigues, sun-bleached camels and earthy brown sweats for his SS16 show. And she was sitting front row — alongside the singers Lorde, Drake and multitudinous Kardashians at the show. A bizarre collaboration, it seemed oddly contrary and totally in keeping with the brand’s messianic designer and his tremendous sense of self importance.

Were the clothes in this Desert Storm meets Spanx collection good? Surprisingly so. If you want a dark olive sweatshirt, or sand-coloured snow boot any time soon, you need look no further. These earth-toned basics were a sartorial no-brainer, although I would caution anyone to wear a flesh coloured bodysuit without checking their rear view in the mirror beforehand. Kudos, too, for the lack of branding. The only noises of dissent here were the plaintive cries of infant North West, who squirmed beside her mother’s seat and sounded thoroughly unhappy. Kids eh? They’re never satisfied.

For more reports from the New York shows, go to our fashion weeks page on the FT web app, or visit our New York Collections Women SS16 fashion weeks hub on


Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved.

Follow the topics mentioned in this article

Follow the authors of this article