Welcome to Kanyeville, Population Zero

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Kanye West at the Grammy Awards. Photo: Getty Images

The buzz at United Bamboo on Saturday all swirled around the rumored appearance of rapper Kanye West. The standing-room area facing the section with his reserved seat filled up almost immediately, presumably with people like us who were eager to see how tall he is in person and whether he was wearing any of his wacky sunglasses. (We were praying for the ones that look like Venetian blinds.)

But half an hour passed, and despite the uncharacteristically audible din emanating from backstage (a woman shouted, “Calm down NOW, RIGHT NOW”), there was no sign of the marquee guest, nor his seatmate, former MTV correspondent SuChin Pak. We did spy musician James Iha — who did the show’s music — wandering back and forth from backstage largely unmolested, but for a few photographers who snapped pictures of him in the front row near a guy we are pretty sure was scheduled attendee Sean Lennon. It was hard to see him from our seat opposite Kanyeville, but the man in question sported a tiny ponytail, glasses, and a bowler hat. Which sounds about right.

And yet Kanyeville still had a population of zero, unless of course Kanye decided to avoid the paparazzi melée by arriving in VERY convincing costume as a red-haired lady in knee socks and an almost invisible short skirt. The lights dimmed just as the crowd’s hopes did; Kanye had officially stood us up. And what a shame, too — those jaunty caps some of the models sported would’ve perfectly set off the eighties-throwback Cockroach–from–The Cosby Show hairdo he debuted at the Grammys. Maybe next season.

Watch a slideshow of the United Bamboo collection.