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Here’s What Actually Happened at the Controversy-Stirring Yeezy Season 4 Show

Tyga, Kylie Jenner, Kendall Jenner, Kim Kardashian, Carine Roitfeld and Pharrell Williams attend the Kanye West Yeezy Season 4 fashion show on September 7, 2016 in New York City.

Tyga, Kylie Jenner, Kendall Jenner, Kim Kardashian, Carine Roitfeld and Pharrell Williams attend the Kanye West Yeezy Season 4 fashion show on September 7, 2016 in New York City; Image: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Yeezy Season 4

While Kanye West drew the ire of fans of all races with his call for “multiracial” models only, after the designer’s Yeezy Season 4 show, Twitter was singing a much different tune.

Both the lucky(-ish) guests who took beleaguering bus rides to Roosevelt Island’s Four Freedoms Park and those who watched the event via Jay Z’s Tidal were impressed by the hundreds of diverse (in terms of both skin tone and size) models who sat on the scorching grass and walked the triangular runway.

48 hours before Teyana Taylor (star of West’s “Fade” video), Chanel Iman, Braina Laviena, Amina Blue, Sophia Richie and many, many more showcased Yeezy’s collection of cream, brown and pistachio-colored knits, the rapper sat down with Vogue to address the casting uproar, pointing out, “The ten thousand people that showed up didn’t have a problem with it.”

He held that the concept was born of a series of discussions with his frequent collaborator, Italian artist Vanessa Beecroft, and was meant to actively include black women: “How do you word the idea that you want all variations of black?” West questioned. “How do you word that exactly?” (Um, just like that?)

As for the clothes themselves, there wasn’t much variation from earlier seasons, although Yeezy Season 3 was easily more colorful and experimental. Kanye presented his audience with functional, trend-defying basics in neutral palettes: knit separates, elastic unitards, utilitarian-chic button downs and jackets, over-the-knee boots (whose sheer iteration we can’t help but love in a Bladerunner kind of way). “I want to make pieces that can be timeless,” West told Vogue. “Pieces that you can pick up out of a vintage store in 20 years and say, ‘Wow, I’m happy I have this.’”

 

Yeezy Season 4

A photo posted by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian) on

While the presence of Kanye, the Kardashians and their fashionable set of friends (Winnie Harlow, Carine Roitfeld, Anna Wintour) certainly upped the FOMO-factor of the event, the circumstances certainly did not.

Hopefuls who got turned away from the 6-hour long casting long had little reason to envy the barefoot, leotard-wearing models who formed the centerpiece of the event. After standing in the hot sun for three hours, some couldn’t help but sit down, others, as the Cut’s Stella Bugbee noted, passed out.

Perhaps Kanye, taking a page out of Lemonade, meant to evoke the black woman’s historical struggle. Here’s hoping they got to keep their covetable ensembles, at least.

See all the looks from Yeezy Season 4 below: