TRUE WEST: “But I’m Kanye’s cousin,” said a woman in French at the gates of the Oscar Niemeyer Communist Party headquarters, as the building blinked bright white with light tests. To no avail: Unless she’d been in the car with North West (the real star of the evening), or was on the list, the putative cousin wasn’t getting in on Monday night for the Yeezy 8 show.
For those who did make it inside, there were three stages. A few lucky souls were ushered into the spaceship-like auditorium to preview the collection with Kanye West himself. Meanwhile, other guests, including Michèle Lamy, Anna dello Russo and Olivier Rousteing, roamed the usually moody space, which had been turned into a Wyoming vista complete with sandy carpeting and dry grasses. Except, hopefully, “no rattlesnakes,” said one guest — the “One Dozen Rattlesnake Eggs” joke envelope that came with the invitation had caused enough scares across town earlier in the day.
The rest of the guests were invited to stand on the building’s front lawn, made slippery and soggy by downpours earlier in the evening, huddling around a handful of space heaters with thin blankets. The show happened, models looming so large on the building’s surface that no one paid mind to a couple of placards that said “Trump is a b—h a– cracka” (Kanye West is, still, a presidential fan). Then North West grabbed the mic for an impromptu performance (later revealed to be a remix of a song by five-year-old American performer ZaZa, aka @redcarpetgirlz on Instagram, of whom North is apparently a fan), eliciting a roar of approval and the bristling of smartphones to capture the moment. Proud father Kanye’s grin was so big it could be seen from beyond the gates. “At first, I was like ‘What is going on?’” said fellow designer Rok Hwang. “The soundtrack was so cute, though.”
After that, the crowd started to break up. “I loved the energy,” said Botter’s Lisi Herrebrugh, who took in the show with partner Rushemy Botter. “I loved the interaction with the city,” he added, referencing the blaring car horns that had turned out to be part of the show’s track. Outside, fans of the Kardashian-West family were throwing themselves on the family’s vehicles, trying to catch a glimpse of North, whose own megawatt grin could be seen even through the car’s dark glass.