KANYE WEST. Hip-hop mogul. The first coming of Yeezus. Mr. Kim Kardashian. And now, of course, fashion designer and soon-to-be legend. It seems like whatever new line he wants to add to his resume becomes a reality almost immediately, but I guess I can't even really be mad because dude works hard. At The Daily Front Row's inaugural Fashion Los Angeles Awards at the Sunset Tower Hotel Thursday night, 'Ye presented an award to Mazdack Rassi, co-founder and creative director of Milk Studios, and of course graced us with some wisdom about his fashion theory. Also, Kanye West explained why he doesn't smile. Here goes:
Back when I was working on Yeezus, I saw this book from the 1800s and it was velvet-covered with brass and everything. I looked at all these people's photos and they look so real and their outfits were incredible and they weren't smiling and people, you know the paparazzi, always come up to me, "Why you not smiling?" and I think, not smiling makes me smile... When you see paintings in an old castle, people are not smiling cause it just wouldn't look as cool.
Yeezy has tapped into one of the most fundamental principles of fashion that may have gotten lost in the fray in recent years: you gotta be real, and you gotta be cool. And try not to smile ever, except on the inside. You laugh now, but hey, look at what Yeezy's been wearing lately: slick leather pants, t-shirts, tux blazers, and lots and lots of layers that he called "emotional" in GQ . Say what you want about Yeezus, but there's no way you can even pretend that he's not a trendsetter.
So he doesn't smile because of his heroes from the 1800s with their dope, real velvet outfits. But where does he get some of his other inspiration?
'Ye told GQ that "big coats are really hip hop, and skinny pants are really rock and roll." OK, that's fair. But beyond the influence of hip hop on his coat collection, I feel he might have also drawn inspiration from...
Rubeus Hagrid. (Kanye would probably have been down with the Invisibility Cloak, too, but cloaks aren't having so much of a Moment right now.) Also possible inspiration: Harrison Ford's coat in Blade Runner, but Kanye would definitely have to clean it up.
In the same GQ feature, Yeezy got emotional about layers and how they can express our sadness, our anger: "The proportions get emotional. You know how a graphic can express a feeling or an emotion? Layers can, too." There's only one other man with layers both physical and emotional from whom I can imagine Kanye stole his look:
Apparently Kanye's on a kick where contrast is totally OVER and he appreciates the more subtle, nuanced and interesting look of tonal colors. This is the artist in him. He OBVIOUSLY got the inspiration for for this fluid look from:
This is one of my favorite quintessential Kanye moments — when he wore Margiela masks throughout his entire Yeezus tour. Genius and terrifying and sparkling and extraterrestrial and totalllly 100 percent 'Ye. I imagine he went to a little friend to get outfit approval on a suit, and he took some inspiration of his own from what his pal was wearing:
I mean, Mr. West is a true artist. He can see beauty in everything.
Images: Getty Images (2); Giphy (3)