The new lookbook featuring Paris Hilton is an homage to the past and present state of celeb culture
Words: Buntu Ngcuka | Images: Kim Kardashian
Most of us were kids around the time Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie helped usher in a new era of celebrity. It was at the height of Heat magazine’s sales, boho chic, overexposed photos with bright AF flashes and the use of the word “canoodling”. There were sex tapes, crotch shots, TV actresses who all dated each other’s exes, The Osbournes, The Simple Life, actual celeb feuds, Sidekick and BlackBerry phones — good Lord, it was glorious.
Then the Kardashians happened, and then social media – and things changed a bit. Or a lot, depending on whether or not you had a Heat subscription. Kris Jenner’s family had a huge hand in changing the way we consume information about celebrities (more personal) and social media changed the way this information is presented to us (even more personal, all the time, any time). We’re at a point where the allure and distance is gone. We feel like we know them thanks to the first-hand access we get into their lives, whether they’re posting thirst traps, vacation photos or behind-the-scenes videos from movie sets.
It’s no surprise then that Kanye West would turn to that era (and his wife) as the moodboard for his Yeezy Season 6 lookbook and stay away from the conventional Fashion Week shows (not that his shows were ever conventional). Late last year, paparazzi pictures of Kim Kardashian dressed in the latest Yeezy sweats and tights, going about her day in Los Angeles made it on to the net. Or so it seemed, as the pictures were actually staged for the new collection. Then, this week, a whole host of celebrities, models, video vixens and influencers reenacted these looks, blonde wig and all. As can be expected, they broke the internet.
The most notable Kim K clone was Paris Hilton, who was Kim’s boss and BFF once upon a time. There have been rumours of a feud between the two of them for years — Kim basically swerved straight into Paris’ lane and had her family follow in convoy. While Kim became a social media and overall superstar, Paris and her sister Nicky faded into relative obscurity. Until now.
What does this mean for Yeezy Season? Well, Kanye’s always been a marketing genius. So have the Kardashians. Their combined fame generates hype and publicity without them even having to try. And with fashion moving more and more into a digital space, it makes sense for these kinds of lookbooks to take precedence over traditional runway shows. Is fashion IRL dying? Probably not, but designers sharing their collections on social media certainly makes it more accessible than ever before.