We've heard of consciously uncoupling but the new trend in the big business of celebrity divorce appears to incorporate high fashion. At least, it does when Ye and Kim Kardashian are concerned.
@kardashian_kolloquim is an Instagram and TikTok account run by sisters MJ and Marie, focussing on a kind of social deconstruction of everything Kardashian-related. In a recent video, MJ put forth the theory that Balenciaga is outfitting Kim and Ye's divorce in the same way that major fashion houses have provided costumes to Hollywood. And it feels like she might have a point.
Since the famous couple announced their separation, both parties have rarely been seen wearing anything other than Balenciaga, the label run by Ye's close friend (and now collaborator – more on that later) Demna Gvasalia, now known simply as 'Demna'. Since she caused a stir at the Met Gala, Kim hasn't worn anything other than the brand top-to-toe, including the time she appeared at the Donda launch party in Demna's first Haute Couture wedding dress for Balenciaga (he re-opened the couture house for the first time in 50 years).
MJ cites a tweet from Patrik Sandberg which reads: 'I find it rather unprecedented that Kim and Kanye are exclusively wearing Balenciaga. To sponsor and dress a celebrity divorce feels like a cynical yet brilliant new breed of endorsement. Where is the investigative report?' She also points out that Ye has been seen with new girlfriend Julia Fox, also dressed head-to-toe in Balenciaga. Coincidence? Probably not, no.
The video draws the parallel between this and the long-standing tradition of major fashion houses 'dressing' certain films. There was Givenchy's relationship with Audrey Hepburn, for example, which led to her on-screen wardrobe consisting of almost exclusively Givenchy-designed pieces. More recently, there was a lot of discussion around the film Spencer, in which Kristen Stewart plays Princess Diana. As a Chanel ambassador, Stewart was outfitted by the brand in the film, despite the fact that Diana herself didn't wear Chanel during the time period portrayed in the movie.
MJ's hypothesis is that this could be the start of a new form of advertising, one which is harder to decipher than more traditional forms of marketing. As she points out, 'Stories are more powerful for marketing that outright selling. Advertising is becoming even more entrenched in media images and it's becoming harder to tell what's 'real' and what's an ad.'
She argues that Kimye could be using their 'tabloid drama' as a form of storytelling. Celebrity behaviour has long been held up as a form of entertainment and perhaps Kim and Ye are now using this to their own advantage, controlling their own story as another way to make money, essentially. It can hardly be a coincidence that Ye's new girlfriend has participated in a social media campaign for SKIMS, Kim's own brand, nor can it be incidental that just a day after pictures of Fox and Ye appeared together, news broke of Ye's collaboration with Demna on a new collection for GAP.
In an online article for Interview, Fox wrote a pseudo diary entry about her second date with Ye, during which he revealed an entire hotel suite full of clothes for her. Is it a coincidence that many of these pieces, carefully photographed, are from Diesel's Spring/Summer 2022 collection from new creative director Glenn Martens? Watch this space.
SEE: Kim Kardashian And Kanye West's Best Fashion Moments
Leaving Kanye West's Sunday Service, the pair struck an intriguing textural contrast with latex and leather.
Putting their power couple foot forward at one of the biggest parties of the year to celebrate the Oscars.
Sitting courtside in matching shades and mega puffers.
Arriving at the New York's Jane Hotel, the pair looked party-ready in slinky lace-ups for her and a silk blazer for him.
A spectrum of blue hues for WSJ's Innovator Awards.
Testing the opposites attract theory of dressing with slinky (for Kim) and supersized (for Kanye).
In Kimye's world, leather trousers and jeans is about as 'off-duty' as things get.
Kanye's denim was the perfect foil for his wife's silver surfer gown at the 36th Annual Night of Stars Gala.
A Kimye date night means spray-on leather and tucked-in track pants.
Last year's Met Gala, where the pair made a splash with wet-look hair and that teeny-tiny waist.
Trainers + a tinsel dress = red carpet magic.
For Versace Pre-Fall 2019, the pair raised the glamour stakes to 100%.
For the album release party for Teyana Taylor, the pair wore matching khakis.
They say couples slowly start to look alike the longer they've been together, which perhaps explains why they're both so fond of the trouser tuck.
Kim in pared-back mode: an ankle-sweeping slip dress and snake-print boots.
For 2016's Met Gala, Kimye maximised on metallics.
Is there a better image to sum up the streetwear meets sleekwear stylings of Kimye?
At 2015's NYFW, Kim played peekaboo with her baby bump.