From the heavily social media-teased Life Of Pablo album release to the buzzed-about global merch pop-ups that were staged in August, 2016 has proven to be a year of not-so-entirely-surprising Kanye West surprises. And the latest of these predictably unpredictable moves came on Wednesday, when the hip-hop artist and fashion designer decided to withhold the location of his Yeezy Season 4 show until three hours before its start time--at which point it was announced to be held at Four Freedoms Park on the tip of Roosevelt Island.
The Siberia of the New York Fashion Week circuit, the often-overlooked sliver of land smack dab in the middle of the East River was accessible by a Kanye-sponsored shuttle (that departed two hours in advance of showtime), the F train or the old-school tram. No matter the option, getting there was a journey for members of the fashion industry and also part of what made the experience feel like a fun wild-goose chase. Until suddenly it wasn't.
3 p.m. turned into 3:30 and then into 4, and as guests continued waiting in the heat, excitement gave way to restlessness, which ultimately gave way to frustration. Security guards who didn't know how to handle the timing demanded that the crowd "get back" and "make a line" and then "get back" again. The irony, as one woman pointed out, was that the event wasn't supposed to feel like West's Madison Square Garden concert the night before. "We're not crazed fans," she exclaimed. "We're here to see a fashion show!"