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August 30 2014

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Paris Menswear: You Can Bet On Adam Kimmel

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You can only bring up the “American in Paris” angle so many times, but, fact is, Adam Kimmel’s experiences in France have followed in the grand tradition of all those American artists who were liberated by Europe. And this time, he brought New York painter George Condo, one of his heroes, to up the ante—literally. Kimmel’s new “Casino” collection was inspired by Condo’s obsession with gambling, and alongside the designer’s ingeniously tweaked outerwear and soberly luxurious basics, he showed outfits for a sharp-dressing high roller. Particularly interesting was the striped suit, just this side of loud, which was an energized new place for Kimmel to be. There was also a baccarat-printed bomber jacket, and a robe printed with a roulette table. Lay it flat, set up a wheel, and you’ve got yourself a game. The model sporting that particular piece was doing some flabbergasting card tricks. Still, the crowd at the Yvon Lambert Gallery didn’t catch on that it was David Blaine (he’s the Great White-baiting star of the film Kimmel made to go with for his Spring collection), mainly because Blaine’s face was concealed under a huge and hideous prosthetic mask. Condo designed 18 of them in his signature mutant style, which also turn up in Kimmel’s lookbook. Paired with the clothes in those pictures, the masks look surreal but painterly and refined, like museum pieces from a far-reaching exhibition. But in the flesh, they were fabulously, repellently cartoon-ish, somewhere between MAD Magazine and The Hills Have Eyes. The audience goggled while Condo’s monsters gambled and Kimmel beat the odds on matching last season’s cowboy triumph (whose accompanying images by Marlboro Man photog Jim Krantz are, by the way, currently on view at Colette).
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Photos: Karl Hab

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    Wicked stuff. Art and fashion meet once again.

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