Adam Kimmel Fall 2012 / Matthew Stone Interview22/01/2012
His second season on the Parisian runways there was a definite feeling that Adam Kimmel was hitting his stride as he unveiled his alien infused AW12 collection yesterday evening. After his SS11 surf-inspired show, he stepped things up a notch in the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts; after a day in the bleachers the menswear massive entered Adam's own personal quarantine, complete with a Nevadan sand catwalk and a rather magical Star Trek portal. With London-based visual artist Matthew Stone's surround-soundscape setting the tone, filling the venue with eery atmospheric noises and spoken word accounts of UFO sightings, the stage was set for a true Kimmel extravaganza, the type we've been waiting for since he announced his promotion to the Paris schedule.
The sharpest looking gang of US military folk ever encountered, navy overalls preceded a suited, booted and helmeted jet pilot and the military issue sand colour was offset by the slick and chic black-clad naval captain. As with all things Kimmel the quality is in the fabrics and the detail. The spectacle and strong theme adds a sense of occasion to proceedings but it's only when you see his signature attention to detail that one appreciates the craftsmanship behind the facade and recognise that these bits and pieces are worthy of far more than an afternoon tinkering in the garage. The life vest in particular would make for the perfect accoutrement (and arguably an essential one) when strolling the banks of the Seine of a stormy evening. Topped off with the odd pair of gold-mirrored aviators and a whole bunch of rubber-soled ankle boots, the many and varied cast of models brought whole new meaning to the notion of 'The A-Team'. Spaceman, I always wanted to go into space…. man.
We interviewed Matthew Stone about his involvement with the show and of course a bit about himself.
Adam Bryce: Tell us about your relationship with Adam - how did this project come about?
Matthew Stone: I was approached by curator Neville Wakefield who asked me to rework a soundpiece that I had presented at Performa 11 in New York.
AB: For you, how do you see the music you create interlink with the art you make?
MS: Adam's theme for his collection was related to UFO hysteria in the 1950's. This didn't relate intimately to the piece 'Anatomy of Immaterial Worlds' I showed in New York. But there was common ground in the sense that they were both relating to mystic experience. I explained that I thought the best way to approach it would be to create a soundpiece that created a physical reaction for the whole body. That it had to go beyond just music to be listened to. We have used what is essentially a world first in a fashion context. I proposed a ten-speaker super-surround sound system, with multiple channels of sound and noise moving all around and above the audience. I designed a building wave of rising noise that repeatedly crescendos to silence. Its amazing and awkward. Awkward because its so intense but then it falls back into a silence where you can hear the models padding along on the sand covered runway.
AB: You've created music for Gareth Pugh shows before - did you take a different approach with Adam Kimmel's show... do you consider the clothes or the scene at all?
MS: I spoke mostly with Neville and his assistant Mavi. I've always been interested in the UFO phenomenom, so that was a draw. I'm fascinated by the parallels between alien abduction and virgin Mary sighting reports. The relationship between technology and the spiritual imagination is so interesting.
AB: How did your interest in music come about - where did you learn?
MS: I've always collected music and via working for Gareth (Pugh) I've learnt to produce my own. These projects lift me out of my own work and apply a set of limitations that allow me to see my own work with new eyes when I return. Music is now a tool within my multidisciplinary practice.
AB: What music inspires you?
MS: I love bitter-sweet dance music. Anything that is simultaneously dark and euphoric excites me. Its a drug and it lifts my thinking out of the everyday. Music makes me feel limitless.
AB: What fashion inspires you?
MS: I might seem obvious or a cliche, but interesting and inventive individuals with great style inspire me. I like designers like Gareth Pugh, Rick Owens and Riccardo Tisci who extend their creative visions beyond clothes and into other fields.
AB: Why is music important to fashion?
MS: Everything culturally is interlinked, but music and fashion are a particularly fun and physical pairing. We get to wear clothes and to dance to music. There is a lot of sexual energy in that so its naturally exciting.
AB: What are you working on right now aside from this? - what's next for Matthew Stone?
MS: A performance for the Marrakech Bienalle amongst other things I have been asked not to talk about yet, which is difficult to honour. I get so excited!
Adam Kimmel Show Review by Sean Baker - Editor of i-D Online / Interview with Matthew Stone by Adam Bryce.