Critics have mostly been vociferous and rather merciless in skewering Kanye West's debut collection, though he has found support in the form of Anna dello Russo, who wore one of his dresses, and Carine Roitfeld, who has been fairly gentle with him. He can now add the Independent's Susannah Frankel to the short list of supporters.
Frankel argues that we should all give Kanye a chance. In her article she claims that if Kate Moss and Victoria Beckham have been given chances by the industry, then he should get the same consideration. As for his credentials? Sitting front row at shows for many years and doing collabs with Louis Vuitton and Hermés should be plenty of experience for launching your own RTW womenswear line.
She also sort of skewers Victoria Beckham, writing, "VB's faux 'I know I'm not really a designer but I'm learning' humility, meanwhile, is an affront to the intelligence of all those whose job it is to comment on fashion." (Kanye essentially said the same thing as VB, didn't he? He just used the word "fuck" a lot more.) The difference is that Beckham's collections have generally been well-received by critics since the beginning--everyone assumed she would fail, but she surprised everyone. She also started with a very small collection of dresses, shown in a quiet presentation format, and has grown from there, unlike Kanye, who pretty much announced that he was going to change the face of fashion.
The next point Frankel makes is that though his taste level was deemed questionable, so is Balmain's. She thought the over-the-top presentation was entertaining, with shades of Tom Ford circa 1998.
We think the industry will give Kanye another chance. One more. If he doesn't plan better and pull together a more cohesive and well-made collection, he's going to be written off and relegated to doing Kardashian-style collaborations.