March 05, 2012 Paris
He reduced his first collection's profligacy to a more concise statement in leather, velvet, and astrakhan, most often in black and always wrapping a legging or pencil-skirted lean silhouette. It was a declaration that West is learning self-discipline in design, and he amplified it aggressively with the martial music, the harsh makeup, the gladiatorial footwear, the odd croc collars. The show's tight edit left little room for anything beyond this core statement, but the hard edge still had some light and shade: the use of dévoré, for instance, the more relaxed sweatshirt shapes, and the clutch-coat decorum of the final outfit.
West unleashed his showmanship with a finale that featured gothic go-karts speeding out of the darkness of the Halle Freyssinet. Later, Azealia Banks performed at his party, just as she had at Karl Lagerfeld's dinner a month or so ago. Like Lagerfeld, West has always known how to make worlds collide, in his music, at least. How that talent might translate into an asset for his fashion remains up in the air.