Yeezy Fashion

by Valentina Ilardi Martin

13 February 2015

It was a second row seat. I attended anyway. Notoriously I don't -- ever -- go for second. I refused Marc and even Calvin for years, until the first row was offered. Not that I deserve it above all other things or beings. It's a position that I've adopted after putting in a good seven years standing and a few other years being seated behind some fashionable pseudo-celebrities. I decided I'd had enough; I launched GREY and that was the end of seconds. I gave what I had to give. I don't mind not going -- I can get my tranquil re-hash online and keep my peace of mind.

Fashion week is a difficult moment. It literally makes me uncomfortable. The wait, the bouncers, being late to the next show because the previous one was late starting, finding a cab (thank God we have UBER now, #ILOVEUBER), and the February cold being what it is -- brutal. It's a nightmare, let's face it, we all know.

Despite the sterile invitation in a shrink-wrapped, air-free plastic envelope, I decided to go. Not because of Kanye West, of course -- many people don't really know me but the ones who do, they know I wouldn't go for that, that's pretty clear. I didn't go to see the whole Kardashian family, of course, and I didn't even go to see, with my own eyes, Kim next to Anna. That cover from last season was already and finally enough. I am not a Belieber either, but seeing him in the second row, that was somehow reassuring. Even Jay Z and Beyonce showed up, and Rihanna. They all look good yes but again I don't even blink at this stuff. I don't even know their music, to be honest, apart from what I hear at Rite-Aid while buying shampoos on Avenue A, and I don't really know who they belong to. They all sound the same to me. Oh . . . I almost forgot: Diddy was there too, with two women, mostly undressed. It was cold, 18 F I would say. Most of the girls in the audience were bare-legged and sandaled. I will never understand that. But hey, who am I to judge how cold-blooded one can be.

Beyonce, Rihanna, Kim: these are the three women who tell every other young girl in the world how to dress, or undress, and that is scary. These three women never leave their house without drivers or body guards -- drivers to protect them from mother nature and bouncers to protect them from the kind of unwanted attention they seem so badly to want. But their followers, by the millions, go out half-naked and alone.

I arrived with my good 20-minute delay. The crowd outside was deep and wide. I worked my way to the gate to speak to the door guy. He said it was all good and they hadn't opened yet. Having made my way to the front, I did what any Italian would do: I stayed put, waiting closest to the door to be let in while surrounded by bodies so that I could keep warm. Survival mode. In the meantime, some "PR" people (if I can call them that) where letting in a few kids, obviously just friends of the designer (if I can call him that) and not people in the industry (if there is still an industry).

Same old, every time, everywhere. That is why I don't go to certain events. It's just not worth it. But this time Vanessa Beecroft was involved, and so I went -- for Vanessa, that's why, only for that. But I should have known that it was not worth it, not even for her.

We finally get in, half-frozen and all-indignant. I talk to myself and ask why am I here. For Vanessa.

The models are standing -- a la Vanessa -- in the middle of the room, like soldiers maybe, or zombies, or just victims, waiting for a mass execution. Yes, that's the feeling. The show itself looks more Wolford than Adidas. I had the same exact impression when I saw the first Mugler (revival) in Paris some years ago, topped off with a Gaga performance (by the way, where has she gone? And who cares?). But let's get back to the show: some distressed, artificially worn-out sweatshirts, some stockings here and there. Collection? Right. The voice of Kanye resounded in the small space on West Street, preaching that he's gonna do something better for us. I'll be waiting for that day, but for the moment I'll go back to my own worn out sweatshirts and the wishful thought that Vanessa Beecroft has temporarily lost her mind.

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