Met Gala

I used to love fashion. It flows from my love of art, design, and craft – some of the outfits from the high end of the couture world are just amazing. The Fashion Museum at the Met is a mandatory destination whenever I’m in New York, and I’ve managed to catch some of the big shows like The Age of Napoleon and the Heavenly Bodies show. [met] But after last year, when Kim Kardashian managed to pack her gigantic butt into a dress originally fitted for Marilyn Monroe, I began to see the event as a desert of decadence, mostly notable for the tremendous amount of elective plastic surgery on display.

It’s not just the decadence, it’s the messaging. I am a fan of Worth and Balenciaga from the 1900s and 1920s, which I now realize were the sunset of the French Empire, which, having lost its grip on its colonies, was still clutching desperately to its cultural dominance. Looking at fashion, and how it switched from being a French thing to an American thing, now I can’t look at it outside of its power messaging. The Titanic was also tied up in all of that. I spent much of last night noodling around that idea, and playing Rimworld, which always puts me in a surreal state of mind.

Sometime last night, around 3:00am, my brain farted and I thought, “I wonder if Stable Diffusion could do some fashion better than much of the ill-fitting readymades (as opposed to pret a porter) that I’m seeing in the influencer scrum?” Perhaps you remember my posting [stderr] in which I had Midjourney AI render dog outfits in the characteristic style of various designers? Well, what if I had Stable Diffusion test its chops by dressing Kanye for the party, to which he probably was not invited. (?)[Midjourney does not let you make weird and disrespectful images of public figures, and I wanted weird. Also: the training sets available for Stable Diffusion are getting really good.] So my project was to use the same basic prompt, varying only the material his outfit is made of:

kanye west, wearing his latest fashion coat (made out of $STUFF), puffy coat, full length view
standing next to a black suburban, street scene

From here, I won’t caption the images with anything other than the materials below the fold in case you can’t figure them out. Some of the materials I tried, like “angle grinders” did not work very well.























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1) Butterflies

2) Space Shuttle thermal tiles

3) steel wool

4) chainmail

5) broccoli

6) computer parts

7) chocolate cake

8) spaghetti with meatballs

9) godzilla scales

10) rats

11) mac n cheese

12) Hello Kitty


  1. Bruce says

    The one with Mac and cheese confused me because I thought at first that Kanye now had some brains, even though they were orange.

  2. Pierce R. Butler says

    “suburban”? Maybe SD has spent time only in the suburbs of Paris. (Though that doesn’t account for the Chevy product placements.)

  3. says

    @Pierce R. Butler: a “suburban” is the product name of a GMC utility vehicle. It’s popular with the “travels with security” set.

  4. seachange says

    I tried to get the Google search engine to distinguish between readymade and pret-a-porter and was not able to get a distinction.

    To my mind ‘high fashion’ never worked differently from what you just described how you see it now? The Met is a show of one socialite woman’s taste, and she has always been a weirdo. She’s a more interesting weirdo than many of the videos released from fashion shows from many designers, IMO.

  5. rblackadar says

    I want a Hello Kitty suburban (with the pink logo, naturally).

    And when I get one, I’ll be sure to crash it into a KIITY storefront exactly like that.

  6. outis says

    The Mac’n Cheese and Broccoli ones look wonderfully eatable and will probably be appropriated by some designer at some point. The chainmail one looks almost ordinary on this particuar fellow, and the Godzilla-headed one is simply fantastic.
    Also interesting: you specified SST thermal shield tiles, but those are… not that. Mmmm.

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