Kim Kardashian Casts Icons for Skims, Gets Lost in the Past

Kim Kardashian Casts Icons for Skims, Gets Lost in the Past

by Evan Ross Katz

We interrupt this opening paragraph to give you Emma Corrin in Loewe Fall 2022 at The Olivier Awards in London. The balloon brassiere finally getting its red carpet debut? Everyone say, "Thank you Jonathan Anderson,” and, "Thank you Harry Lambert."

Photo via Getty

Other things worth discussing: Dixie D'Amelio getting her Balmain Fall 2022 completely slimed at that award show that didn’t invite Jojo Siwa AKA the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards (best of luck to that dry cleaner).

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Kim Kardashian (who we’ll get to in a moment) wearing a custom silver latex Thierry Mugler gown (created before the designer’s passing in January) to the premiere of The Kardashians.

Photo via Getty

And last but certainly not least, human vampire James Marsden at the premiere of what I’m told is a sequel to Sonic The Hedgehog, which is allegedly a movie. Can’t confirm.

Photo via Getty

That’s a smattering of the small stuff, now let’s get to the big stories in fashion from the last two weeks.

The 2022 Grammy-Zzz

I suppose we could talk about the Grammys, a conversation I’m much more keen to have a week later than I was the night of. What is there to say about the Grammys eight days later? Turns out, not much. Was it a flop red carpet? I’m afraid it was. Am I bored of the fashion writer lamenting on the days of red carpet yore? Also that. But there is something distinctly melancholy about the current state of red carpet dressing, and that malaise was on full display at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

There was a decidedly lack of starpower. No Beyoncé. No Rihanna. No Taylor. No Ariana. No Mariah. No Miley. No Selena. No Katy. No J.Lo. No Pink. No Kelly Clarkson. No Alicia Keys. No Lana Del Rey. No Madonna. No Shakira. Instead, what limited star we got was back in the same old. Lady Gaga in Armani... again. Lil Nas X in Balmain... again. Dua Lipa in Versace... again. BTS in Louis Vuitton... again. H.E.R. in Dundas... again. Olivia Rodrigo in Vivienne Westwood... again. It’s not that that’s necessarily bad so much as it’s just unexciting.

Perhaps the better question to be asking is around what the expectation of a red carpet in 2022 should be. Are we freely admitting that these moments are often crafted less as artistic expression and more to fulfill contractual obligations? To quote Madonna in “Justify My Love:" So now what?

But perhaps the night’s biggest head scratcher took place during the night’s in memoriam in which the late Virgil Abloh, the former artistic director of Louis Vuitton's menswear and founder and CEO of Off-White, was referred to on his chyron as a "Hip Hop Fashion Designer.” Some "insanely disrespectful and blindly ignorant," while others called it "micro aggressive racism." The Recording Academy had no comment on the matter, let alone an apology. Seems they have other fish to fry, like their record-low viewership numbers.

Kim's Skims Ad Draws Backlash

Kim Kardashian regenerated buzz around her shapewear brand Skims when they rolled out their latest campaign stars on April 4: former Victoria’s Secret supermodels Tyra Banks, Heidi Klum, Alessandra Ambrosio and Candice Swanepoell. The quad appear in the new Icons campaign alongside Kardashian herself, who wasn’t supposed to be in the campaign but jumped in because it was "too iconic." That Kardashian is putting forth the narrative that she rolled up to set without the intention of being a campaign star is a kind of admiral delusion that remains her best trick in her artillery. It’s giving Denise Richards “lights, camera and me without a stitch of makeup on, what are you guys doing here?” theatricality, and I’m perking up for it, not gonna lie.

But this is a story about Kardashian, so naturally controversy was courted. Internet users were quick to call out alleged Photoshop fails on a campaign intended to celebrate natural beauty. (Mind you, this is not new terrain; there’s a whole cottage industry around articles coalescing the family’s biggest Photoshop fails through the years.) “Appalled to see the amount of photoshop done to Tyra Banks’ body in Kim Kardashian’s new Skims and campaign,” @problematicfame, a popular account that spreads awareness on how instagram can impact beauty standards, wrote in a since-expired story, summarizing hundreds of the quote tweet contingency.

​For her part, Banks appeared unfazed. “This is something I’ve been talking about for decades,” Banks said during a joint interview with Kardashian on the Today Show. “So, me curvier, me damn near almost 50 years old in this campaign — I think it is pretty empowering.”

It didn’t stop there. According to Skims’ website, the collection consists of “best sellers for every body,” however many were quick to point out the lack of every bodies featured in the campaign. Lingerie expert Cora Harrington, who I profiled last July, noted how wild it was “watching this body positivity thing Penrose triangle itself back around to favoring literal Victoria’s Secret models who were seen as problematic while working for Victoria’s Secret, but are praised for working with Skims.” She’s, of course, not at all wrong. Therein lies the snafu of paying homage vs. creating something new in an industry as snail-paced as fashion. In fairness to Skims, the new line does go up to a 4x, but one wouldn’t know that without clicking beyond the campaign images themselves.

Fortunately, April 12 is bringing about some competition in the form of Lizzo’s new Yitty shapewear line, “Designed to comfortably shape and firm your natural curves all day,” per a press release. That line's body diversity is on full display in its campaign, and with no Photoshop accusations in tow.

Welcome to "Wear Me Out,"a column by pop culture fiend Evan Ross Katz that takes a deep dive into celebrity dressing. From award shows and movie premieres to grocery store runs, he'll keep you up to date on what your favorite celebs have recently worn to the biggest and most inconsequential events.

Photo courtesy of Skims/ Greg Swales