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Kanye West Debuts Fashion Line; Receives Mixed Reviews

When it comes to the international string of Fashion Weeks, Paris is recognized for its string of heavy-hitters. Legendary labels like Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Givenchy, and Dior all show there -- to name only a few. In addition to the usual hubbub a new name has piqued the interest of the fashion tribes: Kanye West. The rapper and fashion fan's name had long been whispered to be debuting his own label this season in Paris, and this weekend he did just that. Without his usual bravado, the rapper sent out invites to the expected industry influencers and stayed mum on what to expect. However, that didn't stop the rest of the fashion-world cogniscetti from being very vocal about the results. Twitter, of course was the first outlet to start reporting on it with The New York Times' Cathy Horynproclaiming, "Next season Kanye should get a tailor so clothes might fit. Models swimming in some looks. Kills the hot look, no?" The Wall Street Journal quipped, "Good thing Kanye has a day job."

For a more fleshed out analysis, Eric Wilson of the Times noted that the front row included Azzedine Alaia, Joseph Altuzarra, Alexander Wang, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, and Anna Wintour. But in terms of the actual clothing, he said: "West's collection was heavy on leather, fur and coats, some pieces dripping with so much fox you couldn't tell if they were stoles or backpacks. The show opened with a hot-club moment, with slinky ridged dresses like those of Pucci and Balmain, with slits and zippers cut around the sides, and a heavy motorcycle jacket that had its sleeves sliced in half. A sparkly cropped jacket had so many bits of flare in it that you could imagine Mr. West sampling fashion like he samples different styles of music." He, like his colleague Horyn, noted problems with fit.

Horyn eventually expanded on her first 140-character or less impressions in an article, after having chatted with West: "Mr. West acknowledged the criticism of his show -- the poor fit, the casting. He was completely open about the learning-curve problems and indicated that he planned to deal with them. Everybody who gets into fashion, including musical superstars, realizes how hard the business actually is -- putting your ideas across, getting things made on time. But Mr. West was certainly proud of his ropey, beaded stilettos. "Have you seen anything else like them this season?" he said."

So, overall it doesn't sound like Kanye made the best of first impressions, but also sounds incredibly humble, and we should expect that this will not be his first and last attempt.

You can see the entire collection here.

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