Lillian McKnight • 8 November 2011

In an effort to distract the fashion world from his spectacular sacrifice of sartorial credibility at Paris Fashion Week, Kanye West now wears skirts. He took the puzzling styling choice for its first spin last week at a Washington gig with fellow rap royal Jay-Z, leading one reviewer to christen him “the coolest man on Earth.” Were this definition of cred to extend to the fairer sex, I could today be labeled “the coolest girl in the office” but, alas, the humble skirt isn’t considered particularly remarkable when paired with the XX chromosome. Kanye: one, me: zero.

When it comes to fashion, Mr. West is no stranger to getting in touch with his feminine side. His appearance at last year’s Coachella Festival saw him hit the stage in a blouse by French fashion house Céline. Having once asserted the benefits of having his “chick” clad in “that new Phoebe Philo”, we can only assume that ex Amber Rose left it as a magnanimous parting gift. Kanye’s recent foray into kilt-wearing is a rather unconventional marriage of Scottish heritage wear and sadomasochism. Hewn from some pretty fierce looking leather, it’s kind of like what Mel Gibson would wear were Braveheart remade for distribution in your local fetish emporium.

Perhaps this latest move was all a lot more cerebral than we’re giving Kanye credit for. A shaded reference to the accidental announcement that best pal Jay-Z and Beyoncé are having a baby girl? Maybe Ye has decided to reform his reputation as a notorious skirt-chaser, pulling on the number as a post-modern statement regarding skewed gender roles and sexism in contemporary pop culture. But, in all likelihood, the idea of “easy access” probably just proved really tempting. A bit close to the bone (so to speak), but this is the man that once lyrically boasted of a prowess so extreme as to “re-upholster” his partner’s nether regions. Mothers, lock up your daughters! Kanye’s in town and he’s wearing a kilt!