Most stylish Kanye West vids
By Matt Glazebrook, 6 February 2016
Feel that change in the weather? We're about to enter Yeezy season. But before we all get too carried away picking apart Kanye West's third catwalk collection and getting our head nod on to his seventh album Waves/Swish/So Help Me God (please delete as applicable on 11 Feb), let's take a moment to reflect on one of Ye's other hobbies – looking really stylish in music videos.
The video that launched a thousand novelty sunglasses purchases. To complete an 80s-themed getup for the Hype Williams-directed Stronger, Kanye commissioned a custom pair of 'shutter shades' from designer Alain Mikli. The specs became a sensation, but it’s the rest of the outfit that interests us more: a denim vest layered over a sleeveless grey-marl hoodie and a vintage Saint Laurent T-shirt. Strong – and it was about to get stronger.
After a long string of videos with Hype Williams at the helm, Kanye took his own turn in the director's chair for My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy standout Runaway. Out went flashy visuals and funky fresh hip-hop fashions; in came ballet dancers, sparse sets and the auteur in a lovely vintage-style cream tux. Mr West was starting to get serious…
More achingly stylish minimalism here, with Yeezus' most explicit fashun clip to date. Mercy's extensive roster of collaborators gather in a parking garage wearing their best Balmain leather jackets, trousers and drapey monochrome streetgoth getups for a single-camera, black-and-white, looking-cool fest. Except for Kanye himself, of course, who recreates his Stronger sleeveless layers in expensive black leather and rocks a sort of ninja balaclava for the occasion.
Bound 2 (2013)
One of Kanye's best tricks is the ability to do, say, wear or film something that seems, at first glance, laughable, but, turns out on closer inspection to be a work of genius. The Bound 2 video – featuring slow-motion horses, over-saturated landscapes, bad green screen and a topless Kim Kardashian – is one of these. Yeezy's video 'fits on the other hand – a super-distressed tie-dyed T-shirt and some audacious double-plaid worn way before A$AP made it cool – are pretty much an instant win.
All Day (2015)
The one with all the black. Armed with only an ace black bomber jacket and hoodie combo, the cream of Britain's grime crop backing him up and a couple of flame throwers, Yeezy absolutely destroyed the 2015 Brit Awards, all future award-show performances and possibly the very concept of the award show itself with his debut performance of single All Day.
Only One (2015)
Finally, for 2015's most stylish video, we'll refer to what we wrote when crowning it as such: 'It says lot about Kanye's artistic evolution that, nine years after interrupting an award ceremony to protest his ‘best video’ defeat on the grounds that his clip ‘cost a million dollars. Pamela Anderson was in it. I was jumping across canyons and sh*t!', he quietly made one of the actual best videos of the year with nothing more than a muddy country lane, a handheld video camera and some nailed-on outdoorsy threads in sizes M and XXXXS.'