Kamkyl - spring/summer 2003

The design duo is quickly becoming a hallmark of Montreal fashion, and Kamkyl is no exception to the aphorism “two heads are better than one.” Fresh from showing in New York and designing an avant-garde look for neighbouring Hotel Galt staff, Yvonne and Douglas Mandel proudly displayed spring/summer 2003 in an intimate engagement held in their inaugural flagship boutique in Vieux-Montreal. No sooner did the Thai honeysuckle from the profusion of candles become airborne, than the new Kamkyl menswear took to the Canadian fashion stage. The new, however, is not novel; it is fundamental, as Yvonne explains. “This is who we really are.”

Indeed, this is nothing like the label’s last spring collection. There are no bells and whistles to speak of and nothing sensational solicits attention. No explanation is offered, except for that the Kamkyl cut speaks volubly for itself from its omnipresent position in each and every garment. Crisp, white linen blends are prominent in Kamkyl’s vision of the spring suit, which come in double-breasted, academic looks as well as in three-piece bohemian turns. The floral-print long-sleeved shirts and flared gold linen/viscose pants demonstrate that the Kamkyl cut is synonymous with comfort. Black, jockey-style jackets with signature arm gusset detail round out the impeccable collection. There is even an understated sharpness in the more casual pieces, such as button-fly denim jeans and the long-sleeve fitted club sweater with three-tone striping.

There are, of course, unmistakable elements of rebellion in the collection, although masterfully subtle. Unruly French cuffs and long, unchecked waist shirts protrude from the confines of short-sleeved jackets, translating into a sexy disjuncture. This virile masculinity that is proffered has not an ounce of machismo. The focus is on the man, and there is no other construct in play, as Douglas explains.

“This season was about falling in love with great fabrics. You start with a great fabric, cut it well, and it looks great on the man wearing it. It’s as simple as that.”

Daniel Cox, Fashion Editor
Marek Wlazlo, Photographer