Still the most buzzed-about fashion rookie on the block, Kanye West debuted his latest Yeezy collection to an A-list crowd at New York City’s Madison Square Garden today. But unlike in previous seasons, front row-sitting stars like Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, a newly-blonde Kim Kardashian, supermodel Karlie Kloss, and fellow loose canon Jaden Smith were treated to a bit of color from the rapper-turned-designer.
For Season Three, Kanye injected a few bright hues into his go-to neutral palette, jazzing up shades of nude, brown, and black with — gasp — red, yellow, and blue.
But the show was still quite unlike anything anyone had ever seen before, starting with the out-of-the-ordinary invites and a larger-than-life venue, and finishing with supermodel Naomi Campbell hitting the stage.
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Frenzied fashion: Kanye West debuted Season 3 of his Yeezy fashion line at Madison Square Gaden today
Facing the music: Kanye, who was wearing a long-sleeved tee printed with the words ‘I feel like Pablo’, started the show with a song called Ultralight Bling
Enlisting the pros: Naomi Campbell was one of hundreds of models who took the stage during the show
The ladies: For the women, Kanye returned to his leggings and bodysuits of past seasons, but also added puffer coats and hints of color
The stage and surrounding areas were packed, making it difficult to see the details of the clothing
Fan club: Kanye’s in-laws already knew all the words to his songs and sang and danced along
The family that dresses together… Caitlyn Jenner and daughter Kendall donned matching ensembles for the show, with both women opting for a distressed cream sweater dress
Gang’s all here! Kris Jenner held court on the front row, where she was joined by (left to right) rapper 50 Cent, model Karlie Kloss, Balmain designer Olivier Rousteing and Melanie Griffith
Anyone lucky enough to score an invite received in the mail a suction-sealed bag packed with a folded-up army green Augusta Sportswear jacket. On the back read ‘Season 3’ in all caps, and the design featured details for how to RSVP.
Then, at 4pm today, the fashion crowd descended on Madison Square Garden. Unlike most New York Fashion Week shows that are overwhelmingly attended by women, Yeezy saw quite a fair share of men turn up to see the rapper’s latest creations — and hear his new album, The Life of Pablo, which he also debuted for the excited audience.
But while ‘regular people’ crowded into the arena, a roster of big-name celebrities settled into the best seats in the house. Kris Jenner, Caitlyn Jenner, Khloe Kardashian, Kourtney Kardashian, and even little North West were there.
A healthy-looking Lamar Odom was escorted to his seat by Kanye himself, and Jay-Z, 50 Cent, A$AP Rocky, Tyga, Austin Mahone, L’il Kim, DJ Cassidy, Carine Roitfeld, and Balmain designer Oliver Rousteing also turned up for the event.
The crowds — including many of the stars — waited around for almost hour, with nothing to look at but a giant parachute tarp obscuring the stage, from which smoke was leaking out from underneath. Also under the tarp were a number of models and other members of the Yeezy team, readying for the big moment. Unsurprisingly, the show got off to a late start, with the giant tarp being removed from the stage at 4:45.
Friends with the designer: Lamar Odom sat with Khloe, though eye-witnesses say he was escorted to his seat by Kanye himself
Catching up: Lamar embraced Kylie upon arriving at the show and looked thrilled to see his former in-laws
Party! The Kardashian-Jenner clan looked to be in very high spirits as the show kicked off
She’s out! After waiting in her seat for a half hour before the show started, Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour watched the show and gave Kim Kardashian an air kiss before leaving
Fashion favorites: Kendall Jenner’s close friends Gigi and Bella Hadid were also in attendance at the stylish spectacle
Watchful eye: Anna, 66, who sat next to Kim, appears to have kept her iconic sunglasses on for most of the show
The set-up: When audience members arrived, they were greeted by a giant tarp covering the stage
Out-of-the-ordinary: Smoke blew out from underneath, and it was soon removed to reveal models already milling about underneath
Packed performance: Models were crowded into the arena, with some standing, or sitting on top of a raised platform, while other milled about in a crowd below them
Bright and bold: The men wore mostly neutrals with a few unexpected bright pops — particularly of red — thrown in
But the crowd was certainly in for a surprise. Rather than the typical line-up of 20 to 30 models, Kanye had hundreds, who crowded the stage in overwhelming numbers as he played the first song off his new album, called Ultralight Bling.
‘Feel free to dance and cheer!’ he told the audience.
Of course, the models were all consummate professionals, too — and they better have been, since their boss set out a very long list of rules for all of his performers to follow. During the show, models were banned — in all caps — from whispering, smiling, dancing, singing (unless instructed to), making eye contact, acting cool, ‘sexy posing’,or showing ‘pride’.
They were instructed not to look at any cameras, break character, or making ‘the same movements at the same time’. In a set of instructions that seems quite obvious, models were also told not to take off their clothes and shoes and know that their ‘behavior affects the conduct of others’.
The models also had some famous names to look to for cues. Up on the stage was supermodel Naomi Campbell, who wore all black and showed the amateurs how it’s done. Veronica Webb and Alek Wek also came out onto the stage in the rapper’s new designs.
The family’s here! A newly-blonde Kim arrived with the whole family, including North West and Kourtney Kardashian, dressed in one of Kanye’s glitzier new designs
Jams: Kendall, Kylie, Kris, and Caitlyn Jenner were also in the audience and danced along to Kanye’s new music
The in-laws arrived: Kris and Caitlyn Jenner both came to see the show, wearing matching white outfits
Star-studded: Celebrities including Karlie Kloss (left) and L’il Kim (right) both showed up to support Kanye and see the show
The gang’s all here: 50 Cent, A$AP Rocky (left), Kim Kardashian’s friend Jonathan Cheban (center), and Jaden Smith (right, with his girlfriend) also came to she show
Thank you and goodnight! After the show, Kanye thanked Kim, Carine Roitfeld, and Olivier Rousteing
All of the ladies rocked fitted dresses, bodysuits, leggings, and crop tops, much like in previous seasons — though this time, there was some red and orange thrown in.
They also all donned black caps on their head, with only Naomi Campbell letting her long black hair shine around her shoulders.
The music was very much as important to the show as the fashion — and Kanye’s in-laws are clearly already fans of new tracks like Famous, Highlights, and Wolves. While the music played, Kylie, Kendall, Khloe, and Kourtney all danced along, already able to recite some of the lyrics. A proud Kim — who wore her newly-blonde hair stick-straight — also looked on proudly and grooved to the music.
Finally, the major supermodels walked off the stage and Kanye concluded the show by thanking Kim and asking: ‘Tell me how you feel … did I deliver my promise of the album?’
He also thanked fashion editor Carine Roitfeld for putting Kim on the cover of her magazine, Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing, Jay-Z, and Tyga.
Tailor-made: Both Kourtney Kardashian and Kylie Jenner wore pieces from Kanye’s collection, with each opting for elaborate beaded designs. But while Kylie chose a beaded top and white skirt, Kourtney wore a unique knee-length jumpsuit
A Snapchat detailing all of the rules that performers had to follow — including not acting ‘cool’ and never looking at the Jumbotrom — was shared prior to the show
Running late? Kim Kardashian tweeted that she was about to pull up to the arena five minutes after the show was scheduled to begin
Tribute: T-shirts featuring portraits of Kanye’s late mother Donda West (right) and Kim’s late father Robert Kardashian (left) were being sold on the merchandise table
Let there be color! Kanye first shared new photos of the line on Instagram, revealing that it featured more color than fans are used to from the rapper
Welcome to the big leagues: There was glitz and glamour too, with beading, pearls, and feathers — a major change from the sweatpants-only look of seasons past
Quack: The duck boots returns in new colors — perhaps unsurprisingly, since they sold out so quickly when Season 1 debuted
VIPS: While fans could get tickets to sit in the nosebleeds, celebrities and the fashion crowd received special invites
Special invites: Guests invited to the show received Augusta Sportswear — not Yeezy — jackets as invitations
Clever: The army green jackets were printed with the date and time at the event, which was held at Madison Square Garden