From Madonna’s Marilyn Monroe-inspired “Material Girl” era (which Kim cosplayed for Halloween of 2017, and again echoed with her recent Marilyn moment at the 2022 Met Gala), to her close collaborations with Jean-Paul Gaultier fusing Catholic iconography with BDSM chic for her “Blonde Ambition” tour, to her performances of British aristocracy while partnered with Guy Ritchie, Madonna is defined by her various sartorial eras. Will the same one day be said of Kim?
At different points throughout the episode, Kim confesses to family and friends that she isn’t sure how to present herself without Kanye’s styling direction. “I’ve never been the visionary,” she explains. “I’m trying to figure out, ‘Who am I in the fashion world? Who am I by myself?’ I was always the Kardashians with my sisters, and then I was Kimye. Who is Kim K?”
Scott comes over to help her think through it as she tries on a deep blue Balenciaga look. “She’s the most famous person in the world,” he says of Kim, reiterating Madonna’s legacy in the process. “At the end of the day, nobody does it better than her.” The subtext, of course, is that even in her uncertainty, Kim will come out of this transition bigger and better; and, like any good pop culture icon, she’ll use fashion as a tool to evolve. Hmm. Unclear why, but something tells me a major Balenciaga campaign might be up next?
Pete’s semiotic soft launch
Over the past few weeks, The Kardashians has been quietly leading up to Kim’s now publicly confirmed relationship with Pete Davidson. In a previous episode about her Saturday Night Live nerves, Kim quoted Pete’s kind words of encouragement; last week, she was shown conspicuously texting someone throughout Kourtney’s proposal party. Now, at her birthday lunch, his presence is again implied when Khloe tells a story about a former crush who was known for having “big balls energy.” A raucous debate about BBE vs. BDE (the latter being big dick energy, lest we forget) detonates at the table, and though Pete’s name is never mentioned, the camera cuts to Kim for her reaction, which remains inscrutable.