Kanye West said he found taking a bow at the end of his first fashion show in front of a few hundred industry professionals much more daunting than encoring in front of thousands, as he usually does. No surprise there. West's genius as a groundbreaking musician is unquestionable, whereas his status in the fashion world has been, until now, that of an ardent-bordering-on-obsessive fan. Which was clear from his genuine delight when Silvia Venturini Fendi and her daughter Delfina Delettrez Fendi came backstage to congratulate him after the show.
They were two of a surprising number of designers who turned out for Kanye: The presence of Azzedine Alaïa, Dean and Dan Caten, Olivier Theyskens, Jeremy Scott, and the Olsens sealed this evening's deal as a fashion event. Equally, they underscored the goodwill he had going into this. And Kanye himself was poignantly aware of the challenge. "The biggest hurdle I had to face is the celebrity designer or the hip-hop designer concept," he said backstage. But he had some major help in battling preconceptions. Among the people he bounced ideas off, he name-checked Kim Jones, Louise Goldin, Katie Eary, and Louise Wilson, the guiding light of Central Saint Martins and, by extension, guru of British fashion.
Very impressive! Some sexy, with a dash of chic, and a splash of avant garde.