I’m Transfixed By Kim Kardashian’s Gas Station Looks

Author

Categories

Share

Kim Kardashian stepped out, or rather, stepped out at a Shell station in Los Angeles last night. She was dressed in a long-sleeved, figure-hugging black Balenciaga gown, heels, and large sunglasses. Her preferred accessory was a hulking gas nozzle, which she held firmly in her hand (is she as perplexed by high oil prices as the rest of us?). And this isn’t Kardashian’s first foray into refined oil and fashion. The gas station has been a paparazzi stop for the reality star turned mogul since the early 2010s.

She wore a vintage Christian Dior black leather dress and a blazing orange leather jacket by Yeezy in June 2021, shortly after filing for divorce from Kanye West. She was friskily mummified in an iridescent green turtleneck bandage dress as she exited the backseat of her silver Maybach in 2019. Only a few months before, Kardashian stepped out of the passenger seat and into a mini-mart to buy who knows what, all while wearing an archival lace-trimmed purple, blue, and lime green Versace dress from fall 1996. She wore a jersey skirt by the then-indie but now-big brand Eckhaus Latta to get snacks at a gas station’s convenience store in 2017, after years of wearing big name brands. This was Kim’s first foray into the vast underground.

All of these scenarios appear to be staged as if they were taken from a lookbook. The gas station step-and-repeat was immortalized in a paparazzi-style shoot for Yeezy season 6 in 2018. It was a cheeky collaboration with the photo agency Splash News that used real paparazzi to capture Kardashian wearing a slew of Yeezy skintight pieces in the sand and concrete hues.

The fascination with celebrities at the gas pump is not new. It’s one of those “Stars, They’re Just Like Us!” moments. Actors arrive in their spandex after working out to fill up their Range Rovers (there are dozens of images of Ben Affleck fueling his sports car.) The juxtaposition of high fashion and the humble station adds to the intrigue. Consider Bella Hadid, who turned her moment into a full-fledged meme. In January, the model was spotted stepping out of her Mercedes Benz G-Wagon, talking on the phone, and dressed in a paparazzi-ready ensemble of ultra-low-slung baggy gray wind pants and an American Girl-sized crop top. Earlier this summer, thousands of TikTok users reimagined the short clip titled “Bella Hadid at the gas station,” recreating Hadid’s mindless pump antics. Hadid even got in on the act, creating her own meta TikTok.

The gas station has long served as a dull backdrop for glam and oddities. While looking for images of celebrities at the gas station, I came across one of a nun. In the photographer’s and many other people’s minds, she was out of her element and instead just a regular person doing a quotidian task.

Of course, when Kardashian goes to the gas station in her high-fashion style, she’s pumping with a purpose. It’s the epitome of glammed-up banality. The majority of Kardashian’s outings are accompanied by incredibly detailed descriptions written by paparazzi wire agencies about her outfits. According to Splash, Kardashian’s barely-there top and slip skirt in 2017 were seen “stopping at a gas station to pick up a packet of Haribo after dinner with friends in Brentwood.”

Kardashian is demonstrating to the world that the most sought-after woman can be in a normal setting, which only emphasizes how high-octane her look truly is. Kardashian makes the setting extremely unusual and creates an entertaining image thanks to whatever haute thing she is wearing. This was probably Kardashian’s intention all along. They Aren’t Like Us, Stars!

Author

Share