Adam Kimmel goes to the Dogg side for spring/summer 2011
Snoop Dogg as fashion icon? Why not? After all, the notion comes straight out of the constantly percolating brain pan of Adam Kimmel, a designer who has turned to casino clowns, cowboys and the artists of the Ferus Gallery for sartorial inspiration.
That's how a courtyard off Rue des Archives in Paris' 3rd arrondissement came to be filled with the blaring sound of rap music on a recent Tuesday night, blaring from a cherry black Lincoln on shocks that allowed it to bounce up and down to the beat, and surrounded by a posse of snappy dressers looking every bit worthy of Snoop's posse.
Specifically what he's sharing is a collection in a range of blues that included luxe takes on pieces like bold powder blue pinstripe jackets with wide, satin peak lapels, a navy blue football jersey-inspired pullover (in cashmere) with a scattering of white stars at the yoke and the number 88 on the back, baggy track pants, a blue-and-white satin letterman's jacket, and a red-and-blue plaid short-sleeve button-front shirt.Kimmel created a custom bandanna print design that appeared throughout the collection -- a silk/cotton blend that lined jackets, trousers and hoodies (And the photos of the models in the accompanying gallery were all mounted on blue bandannas as well -- a not-so-subtle nod to Los Angeles gang culture). And with his collection he moves into accessories that here included Panama hats, silk ties, suede wingtip shoes and high-top sneakers.
While the individual pieces were fun, and brought a designer touch to street motifs, it's hard to see who could carry off a head-to-toe "Compton by way of Italy" aesthetic (Kimmel's words, not mine). Snoop can wear a blue pinstripe suit jacket with bangin' peak lapels in contrasting silk and look fly -- simply because he's Snoop -- but most of us would slip it on and look like the prom date that time forgot.
And, while Kimmel may be based in New York, this season is only the latest evidence that he looks to the Left Coast for much of his design inspiration, making him a kind of unofficial ambassador for Southern California.
Case in point: as I turned to leave the gallery for my next event, I heard two New York-based members of the fashion press talking about the scene in the courtyard. "I'm kind of really liking this whole L.A. vibe," one said -- sounding almost surprised at his own admission.
Argue about whether Kimmel's set piece is reality, theater or nothing more than bald stereotype, in an era where L.A. bashing seems to be in fashion, that admission, more than any Snoop Dogg album, is music to my ears.
-- Adam Tschorn, in Paris
Photos: At top, a model poses for photos at Adam Kimmel's spring/summer 2011 Menswear presentation of a collection that was inspired by Snoop Dogg. Credit: Adam Tschorn. At bottom, a model wearing a cashmere sweater football jersey. Credit: Adam Kimmel.