Getting To The Bottom Of Kanye West's Sunday Best
Kanye's West's pivot toward orthodox Christianity has been, well, somewhat unorthodox. Following a worryingly frenetic episode during 2016's Saint Pablo tour, paranoia on the 42-year-old's pulpit has transformed into pure worship: Jesus Is King is an ode to the man in the sky and his immaculate son, and of course, coincided with the launch of expensive, God-geared merchandise that held as much spiritual currency as a 'babes of the Vatican' calendar (yes, such naughty sacrilege doth exist).
But it is Sunday Service that appears to be the crowning glory of West's reawakening. The exclusive pop-up preaching project began in 2019, and sees a gospel choir cover the hymns of the One True God, and also sing songs about the actual God. Look to clips published on social media, and it's actually very nice to listen to. Traditional liturgy this is not, though. Handfuls of free tickets can hit a re-sale value of $500. Much of the congregation is uniformed in porridge-bland tracksuits (West-designed, of course). And at the latest Paris installment—conveniently timed to coincide with fashion week—a top tier of design talent peppered the pews, with Haider Ackermann, Jacquemus, and Rick Owens' wife/muse Michele Lamy all in attendance.
All of which is incredibly left-field for something as conservative (lower case C) as mainstream Christianity. That means the conservative dress codes of Sunday Best go out of the window. Instead of a classic two-piece, and a proper Windsor knot, and polished brogues that only come out for the solemn hours of a funeral/wedding/Christening, West went for a suede short-sleeved, kimono-collared boxy shirt, and baggy dual-toned leather trousers. And sunglasses indoors. And Yeezy trainers. And a general aesthetic in line with the Balmain-designed latex priestess garb of his good wife Kim Kardashian.
Such things would be deemed improper by general church-going standards. That's because this isn't standard church-going. Where your local vicar orates a generally muted service, and a 132-year-old crone shreds it up on a pipe organ, West's Sunday Service is church for Hollywood, church for fashion week. So entirely unorthodox, then. But while the trademarked worship has been poorly-met by Christians and the divine keyboard warriors of Twitter, there is one saving grace—it turns out you can wear whatever you like to the next hometown wedding. Praise be to Kanye.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.co.uk. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.