Kanye there is no diplomatic or nice way to say this -- so I will just blurt it out -- KANYE PLEASE STOP!
Kanye West, you are a musical and lyrical genius. Kanye, you are a beacon of hope and light in the music industry as well as a man of great style and substance. But this path you have chosen as a burgeoning fashion designer must come to a full-stop; if not a permanent stop, at least a pause. A pause until you truly, in your heart of hearts, know that you are ready to send your true feelings and voice down a catwalk the same way you send them through the airwaves with your brilliant music. I make no qualms about it, I am a huge fan. But Kanye, please stop!
Kanye, and I say this all to you in an open forum from a place of respect, admiration and goodwill. I say in an open forum what many people in and out of the fashion world are already saying behind your back or via the anonymity of cyberspace. Kanye, please stop!
Kanye -- man to man, creative to creative and designer to musician -- you know the collection that you just showed in Paris does not represent who you are and what you are truly about. You can not for a moment believe that modern women navigating their way in the world today want to look or dress like this. As I am sure you know, women are juggling more responsibilities and duties today than ever before in the history of womankind. So you must please tell me, at what point do you and your TEAM (wink-wink) conceive that a woman wants to wear a poorly constructed dress made of cut bands, a fur throw rug, and an asymmetrical jacket during the Spring of 2012? Do you envision her wearing this look to the office, PTA, boardroom, supermarket or just a casual date night? Listen, I am all for stylistic freedom and the fantasy of fashion -- it is how I make my living. But you must agree there must be some rhyme or reason, some morsel of practicality -- or as they teach in Design 101 -- "form following function." Of course, you understand this, Mr. West, as designing is very much like composing -- it follows a certain rhythm, flow and even musicality. Kanye, please stop.
Kanye, my future colleague, I know what it's like not only to dream of, but to experience the coming out at the end of a runway presentation and taking your bow in front of your adoring well wishers. I even know what it feels like to dream of holding a microphone and rocking out on stage in front of a sold-out crowd, something you do on a regular basis. But I would not dare hop my vocally challenged and tone-deaf self onto a stage and attempt to belt out Jennifer Holliday's "And I Am Telling You". However, what you did this past weekend was tantamount to participating in the same sort of fashion felony. Yes Mr. West, this first outing of your "DW or KW" collection was borderline criminal. To send down a tone-deaf collection, absent of any voice, vision or direction, requires a summons from the fashion police. Kanye, please stop.
Kanye, let's make a plea-deal. Promise "yourself" (because you don't owe me anything), that you will not send another collection down the runway until it is at the level of your musical masterpieces College Drop Out, Late Registration or My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Do we have a deal?
Deal or no deal, Monsieur West, I really do wish you the vision of clarity or at least point of view, and hopefully one day when you are picking up your CFDA award you will thank me for this kind note. But for now, Kanye, I beg of you -- PLEASE STOP!
Follow Malcolm Harris on Twitter: www.twitter.com/curatorofcoolny