The singer-turned-designer presents a line of leather and fur that earns mixed reviews

By Kate Hogan
October 03, 2011 04:00 PM

Courtesy Karla Otto, Inc.

Kanye West showed his first-ever collection in Paris Saturday night, as Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Lindsay Lohan and Anna Wintour watched eagerly from the front row. Set in the City of Light’s Lycée Henri IV, it was a runway show filled with leather, fur and lots of skin — and the critics weren’t so impressed.

Wall Street Journal
style columnist Christina Binkley wrote that the show was at time “painful,” and recalled the Flinstones when referencing one particular breastplate. And though she “liked the perforated black leather” seen on several garments, she didn’t love the way it was used. “A vast quantity of luxury materials can’t blind people to a lack of creative marksmanship,” she wrote.

Eric Wilson from the
New York Times
agreed somewhat; he wrote, “it was obvious that most of the clothes suffered from a poor fit.”
Women’s Wear Daily
, on the other hand, was a bit kinder; it called the show “neither triumph nor train wreck” and said “it had the earnest veneer of a beginner, which was sort of endearing.”

West, who helped design a line of scarves for M/M in the spring, didn’t give interviews before his show began. But he did grab the mic during an after-party at Club Silencio, and begged critics to give him a chance.

“We don’t know what the reviews will be, we don’t know what they will say, but I got a chance to go to Italy and feel those fabrics,” he said. “And I took out motherf—ing loans to get the best models, to get the best designers, to get the best venue. I gave you everything that I had.”

He continued, “I thank anybody who came to this party, everybody who supported, everybody who believed, because people thought it was a joke, and maybe people still do, but I can only grow from this point.”

To view the full collection, visit Tell us: What do you think of West’s collection?

–Kate Hogan