The rapper takes style cues from Michael Myers on a trip to Europe

Kanye West’s berserk fashion choices reached an uncanny zenith this weekend, when the rapper was papped walking around Venice and Berlin in a full-face slasher mask, redolent of Michael Myers in the Halloween franchise. Perhaps a performance of anonymity or a meditation on the mad-making condition of celebrity, the past year has seen West’s errative public persona amplified by these kinds of grand visual gestures – many of which border on menace. Consider the grieving, divorced dad sleeping on a mattress in the galleys of an Atlantan football stadium, or his near-constant rotation of face-obscuring balaclavas, made by Demna Gvasalia.

Yet West now appears to have traded in the Balenciaga bank robber stockings for something a little more sinister, performing at the wedding of Tiffany exec Alexandre Arnault last Saturday in a Squid Game meets Commedia dell’arte disguise. As he took to the stage in a black, half-headed mask, the rapper fumbled his way through “Runaway” and “Flashing Lights”, his voice muffled by the bulky headgear, which refused to stay put. The following day, West was spotted traipsing around Berlin, wearing the aforementioned Halloween mask, in which pundits have also seen the face of Fantômas staring back – the spine-chilling archvillain in the eponymous 1964 French horror movie.

Dressed in an oversized Balenciaga bomber and knee-high Crocs boots, it wouldn’t be without question to assume that Demna Gvasalia was behind the rapper’s latex get-up, too. Ever since the duo collaborated on a commemorative t-shirt for DMX earlier this year, Gvaslia has become something of a confidante to West, creatively directing both Kim Kardashian and his Donda listening parties. The relationship goes way back, though, to when Kanye basically discovered the Georgian designer, platforming his work at Vetements long before the industry cottoned on, subsequently appointing him to his YEEZY design studio. 

Of course, Kanye is known for turning his most private psychodramas into public art and he has technically been concealing his image since the Margiela face masks of Yeezus. But this new era goes beyond the borders of avant-garde fashion designers. That is, unless we consider Smiffys or Spirit Halloween a maison. Whether it’s Michael Myers or Fantômas, West is curating a horrifying self-caricature to send out into the world, a quite literal troll-cum-performance artist – now sold with interchangeable masks.