On Wednesday, Kanye West held his Yeezy Season 5 runway show at New York City’s Pier 59. We’d never say it was a sedate affair — according to social media reports, editors and other attendees were lined up around the block before the show started, while wannabe attendees tried talking their way in. But compared with last season’s show, which featured a remote location on Roosevelt Island, long delays, and fainting models, this one felt downright well organized.
It was also, crucially, a lot smaller than Season 3, for which Kanye West packed Madison Square Garden. This season, there was no livestream like the one on Tidal last season, which let the whole world be privy to that show’s now-notorious production problems. That was probably on purpose. A Kanye West show will never not be some level of crazy — he’s just that big, and people are just that obsessed with him. But in this case, (slightly) smaller seemed better.
At the end of the less-than-15-minute show, one editor called it “low-key” and “no-drama” — words never before applied to a Yeezy show. And after thoroughly exasperating the fashion pack for the last couple of seasons, that was probably the whole point.
Ahead, nine things to know about Yeezy Season 5.
1. The show started on time-ish … for a fashion show.
Unlike last season’s extensive — and much complained-about — delays, Season 5 started at 3:24 p.m. A while after its stated start time of 3:00 p.m., sure, but typical for a fashion show. The Yeezy production crew clearly tightened things up this season.
2. Kim Kardashian wore a head-to-toe maroon lewk — and required heavy security.
Guest of honor Kim K. tends to wear all one color to the Yeezy shows, like these brown and camel looks. On Wednesday, deep maroon was her color of the day. She wore a matching mock sleeveless turtleneck, puffer jacket, chic sweats, and pointy-toe heels (puffer coat worn unzipped and off the shoulder à la Balenciaga, naturally). Meanwhile, these security guards were working hard to protect the star at one of her most high-profile appearances since she was robbed in Paris:
— @Booth (@Booth) February 15, 2017
3. The front row featured Kim Kardashian, Anna Wintour, Kylie Jenner, Tyga, and Hailey Baldwin.
In past years, the entire Kardashian/Jenner fam has turned out for Yeezy shows. In contrast this time, we saw no North West, no Kris Jenner (although she was reportedly in New York during the time of the show) — this season, it seems only Kim and Kylie and a surprisingly chill-looking Kylie Jenner were in attendance, and the pair stopped backstage after the show. Another attempt to keep things low-key, perhaps?
— Jenner Updates (@jennerdailynews) February 15, 2017
4. The venue was very dark and very loud.
Inside Pier 59, the walls and runway was black, with dim lighting — people reportedly had trouble finding seats. Pre-show music was variously referred to as “transcendental” or “spa” music — very chill. But once the show started, a reporter for Elle.com said the soundtrack was so loud, the whole building vibrated throughout the show.
More black panther imagery at Yeezy season 5 pic.twitter.com/fcbA7GegYT
— Aria Hughes (@ariahughes) February 15, 2017
5. The show started with no models.
At the top of the show, models were projected on a large screen in the center of the runway. Only at the end did real live models appear. Some fashion editors were not impressed with the virtual nature of the show: “They could have sent us a PDF!” one fashion editor said on Snapchat.
— ELLE Magazine (US) (@ELLEmagazine) February 15, 2017
6. The collection features menswear and womenswear, and is athleisure-y as usual.
There were track pants printed with the word “Calabasas” (the town where the Kardashians live); other garments were printed with the words “Lost Hills.” We saw an updated version of Boost sneakers, camo jackets, shearling coats, oversize sweatshirts and hoodies, and many pairs of suede mid-calf boots.
7. The notorious thigh-high boots are back.
One of the models wore a head-to-toe maroon look similar to the one Kim K. sported. It featured those thigh-high boots that debuted last season — but they seem easier to stand upright in this season, unlike last time.
— i-D (@i_D) February 15, 2017
8. Yep, Yeezy does denim now.
It’s high-waisted and ’90s mom-ish, and you can’t say his clothes are unwearable anymore — or complain about the lack of models wearing pants, as folks did last season.
— @Booth (@Booth) February 15, 2017
9. The show ended at 3:39 p.m. Miraculously, no disasters in sight.
After fewer than 15 minutes, at the end of the show, Kanye did not come out for the designer’s customary bow. In fact, no one seemed quite sure the show had ended. Yahoo Style’s Market Director spotted Kim mouthing to Anna Wintour “I guess it’s over,” and then just walked backstage.
Fashion editors and fans will have days to debate the merits of the collection. But for now, everyone’s breathing a sigh of relief that it went without a hitch or fainting model in sight. We think it’s safe to say that Yeezy definitely wins the “Most Improved Runway Show” award.