February 08, 2007 New York
The (relative) discretion of this approach was reflected in the construction. For instance, Kimmel felt that Sea Island cotton is too sheer for most men, so he doubled the chest panels on a shirt. And the short double vent that is something of a trademark comes from his conviction that it makes his jackets more flattering for men with a little meat on their bones. The art-world connection is also an ongoing source of inspiration for Kimmel. Chamois cloth litters the studios of his friends (last season, it was the cotton of drop cloths that turned him on). What's more, "artists don't shop," he said, which made him more determined to come up with a suit they'd want to buy. This collection's "fantasy" piece was something he called a holster cape, ideal for an eccentric creative type. If there was something incongruously romantic about such an item in the context of the designer's work, it was perhaps best to see it as a hard-boiled romance, the kind that would suit a real man like Robert Mitchum, in his Kimmel coat with the generous all-American-sized armholes.