Has Kanye West copied us?
By Awang Sulung
With so many Yeezys to choose from, not to mention all the prototypes that did not go to production, Kanye West turned up for the Burberry show in London, wearing slippers that looked like the pair my makcik Aisha owns. She said she was “attracted to the ‘berlians’ (diamond)” and I believed her; my aunt is quite a magpie, you see. But Mr West has better resources than my aunt; and he is supposed to be a fashion icon. Well, maybe that is it. Fashion heavyweights can wear anything. Is Mr West reflecting some zeitgeist? Or is he, in sharing my aunt’s love for bedazzled flip flops, reflecting popular taste? I’d have thought that he’d want to promote his Yeezy slides if open-toe footwear is a must. Or are they too plain, too “pure”?
Mr West is, of course, known to wear things that do not correspond with the seasons or to “dress like winter when it’s hot”, as he professed on Instagram early this month, which justifies his layers of bulky puffers and heavy-guage hoodies in the middle of summer. Try wearing those here! Was he deliberately doing the opposite of Kim Kardashian? AccuWeather told me that it was about 10°C in London when he arrived for the Burberry show. He was bungkus-ed in a hoodie, again, and a button-down leather shirt and matching pants. The get-up I suspect was by Burberry. The extra sleeves, attached to the side seams and tied to the front, informed me so—they looked like those that appeared on the runway. Formidable Kanye West has to wear pieces from the season to come, not the present, definitely not before.
This footwear choice is well planned and thought out. Like his clothes, they previewed what Burberry would later show. And he was given a pair of black tabi socks so that the first two toes would better grip the also-black thongs, which are topped with a single row of clear, sparkly, squarish stones. They look like pasar malam crowns for feet. Mr West’s slippers are, of course, a notch above those we like to wear, even if he appeared to be inspired by the footwear of our nation. But the sparkles may proof a tad too terang (bright) for flip flop die-hards such as environmentalist Ho Xiang Tian. As much as the blink seemed to be saying something to curious onlookers (I have no idea what), it preferred to draw no comment. Mr West later shared a Yeezy-Gap-ish photograph of said footwear on Instagram, it was accompanied by “DON’T TALK TO ME”.
It is not at all hard to see this as a publicity stunt. The grumpy rapper/designer has been really geram (angry/disgruntled) this month, bleating about perceived improper practices against him by his business collaborators. I wonder if what he wore down there on his feet was just distraction from the problems he’s facing. For the moment, people would be talking about those slippers. His position as the incomparable superstar of fashion is strengthened, just like his ex-wife’s when she appeared bare-butt on the cover Interview. Frankly, I am not buying it.
Photos: Getty Images