Kanye In Paris

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The mercurial artist offered his fashion line during Paris Week. Kanye didn't like the reception:

"I gave you everything that I had," he said, one of his few printable remarks. 

If that is true, Mr. West faces bigger obstacles in life than credit-card debt. His show was described by those who attended as, at best, a disappointment, and yet the rapper could be found almost everywhere during Paris Fashion Week defending himself. 

At a dinner party in Azzedine Alaïa's kitchen on Sunday, Mr. West complained rather bitterly to those assembled that he meant for those sausage-casing dresses, the sagging trousers and the swimming jackets dripping with sparkles and strips of fuzzy bits to fit the way that they did, though everyone else seemed to read them as a failure in tailoring. 

At the Céline show, he engaged Joe Zee, the creative director of Elle, in a lengthy dialogue, loud enough for everyone around them to hear, in which he noted, as one example, that he did not very much appreciate the criticism of his decision to show fur for summer. 

"All I said was congratulations," Mr. Zee said afterward. "I wasn't even there." 

What was most confounding about Mr. West's behavior, after years of obsessive study of the industry, was that he demonstrated very little understanding of how he might actually be perceived by retailers and editors who have a vast amount of experience at detecting utter nonsense.

He certainly is keeping it real. Does this surprise anyone? When I read these stories I wonder if fame really changes people, or whether they were this before. I think money and fame unshackles people--there are certain things you just can't get away with when you're a pedestrian. But behind the armor of an automobile, you show yourself.
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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle. More

Born in 1975, the product of two beautiful parents. Raised in West Baltimore -- not quite The Wire, but sometimes ill all the same. Studied at the Mecca for some years in the mid-'90s. Emerged with a purpose, if not a degree. Slowly migrated up the East Coast with a baby and my beloved, until I reached the shores of Harlem. Wrote some stuff along the way.

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