Adam Kimmel A/W 10-11

American artist and gambler George Condo gave Kimmel the chance to host his own casino night.

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Arriving at the presentation of Adam Kimmel’s most recent collection on Thursday evening, it quickly became apparently that the evening would consist of luxury and abandon in equal parts: people were crammed against each other, laughing in all directions, recklessly happy to be involved with this revival of the old school avant-garde. And why wouldn’t they be? Adam Kimmel’s past collaborations with artists have been past frighteningly good and as he settles in to tell the story of George Condo – an American artist and prolific gambler –he is shifting the boundaries between artist and designer and confirming himself as a creative force.

Playing craps and baccarat in space of Kimmel’s casino, the clown-headed men of Condo’s paintings (known as the Barber, Crucified Thief, Super Dude and Hippie Farm) sported green velvet smoking jackets, evening slippers, capes with useful roulette print lining and tuck pleat shirts with bow ties. Dazed Digital speaks with Kimmel about Condo, collaboration and the creative process...

Dazed Digital: What was it that first made you think of Condo?
Adam Kimmel: This season I’m doing a collection for my contemporaries – really just clothes that my friends want to wear, you see. And my generation, we love George Condo. He’s beautiful and he’s the real old school avant-garde in New York. He lived post-Cubist, post-Picasso, very unpretentious, very lavish and he and I got together to make this collection. I learnt he was an incredible gambler who summers in Monte Carlo, who goes to the Ritz Club in London – he loves to go to this place in New York for the slots. This collection is about what he wears.

DD: How did you two meet?
Adam Kimmel: I met Condo years ago and of all the artists I know, he’s definitely the most stylish, bad-ass mother. He was in one of my lookbooks a few years ago.

DD: And the characters from Condo’s paintings – who let them break into the third dimension?
Adam Kimmel: We worked with this prosthetics guy called Gabe Bartolos to bring them to life and that is what you see before you.

DD: Tell me a little bit about your favourite pieces from the collection?
Adam Kimmel: Well, I had a little fun. You have a robe with a roulette table on it and a cape with a craps table on the back and some of the blazers and bomber jackets have baccarat lining. You just take it off, throw it on the table and go to work. Practical.

DD: When you look from season to season, there are such interesting and bizarre developments in your designs. What is the narrative thread? The telling of the story itself?
Adam Kimmel: I love telling a story and I think it is about telling a story – and in a way that appeals to my friends. It’s about a guy who loves beautiful clothing and wants to be comfortable; all the fabrics are as soft as possible, everything is hand-made in Italy, and the cuts are very relaxed. It’s for someone who is just like Condo – who enjoys life. And producing something for your friends, that’s the ultimate.
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