Kanye West's Paris fashion show draws sharp criticism for copycat clothes

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Rapper and all around aesthete Kanye West has just bravely debuted his second fashion collection in Paris. After receiving scathing reviews for his first attempt on those runways, which was released in the couture capital last fall, West was not in a position to fail the second time around. In response to criticisms that his first looks were not up to snuff, the megastar posted on his blog, “This is my first collection. Please be easy. Please give me a chance to grow.”

Unfortunately, fashion critics have not seen much development in West’s tastes. While West has received some proverbial pats on the back for slight improvement, he has failed to receive strong accolades. West has also been accused of sartorial plagiarism in crafting his Autumn/Winter 2012 collection.

The Daily News reports one major style watcher believes West shamelessly ripped off the storied fashion house of Givenchy in each of his 20 tight-fitting looks.

“Kanye West[’s] collection was so Givenchy-esque that it’s embarrassing that Givenchy designer Riccardo Tisci was an expected guest,” Wall Street Journal style critic Christina Binkley said, as quoted by the Daily News. “Ten points off for copying the smart guy sitting next to you.”

The extensive use of fur and alligator also drew negative reactions from the animal-friendly contingent. Daily Mail writer Liz Jones lambasted the pop star’s use of astrakhan, a special type of lambs’ fur.

“Let me tell you about this most ghastly of ‘fabrics’,” Jones wrote in her column. “Astrakhan is the fur of an unborn lamb. Yes, a foetus. The sheep is slaughtered, and the unborn lamb is ripped from her womb, its coat still curly and unformed.”

Yes, that sounds pretty horrible. Despite this stomach-churning revelation, models in West’s frocks, pencil skirts, leather pants and biker jackets did cut sexy silhouettes — but the clothes were considered ill-fitting and poorly constructed by those in the know.

Another “fail”? The fact that West used only two black models.

West did receive some approval for his accessories, which included bold knee-high boots with thick, band-aid like flaps and simple, geometric purses. This echoes his recent success as the shoe designer for the Dion Lee show, which presented at London Fashion Week several days ago. He has also designed highly-coveted shoes for Louis Vuitton and Giuseppi Zanotti.

“Haters” — as West might be likely to call them — aside, he was heavily supported by a bastion of African-American celebrities who sat front row to watch his second Paris show. Big names included Sean “Diddy” Combs, Cassie, Alicia Keys, Shyne Po, Andre Leon Tally, Common, Swizz Beatz, Waka Flocka Flame and Rosario Dawson. Manhattan “it girl” Shala Monroque and American Vogue editor Anna Wintour were also in attendance.

Kim Kardashian’s appearance fanned rumors that she and West are a couple.

Follow Alexis Garrett Stodghill on Twitter at @lexisb