Designer Adam Kimmel takes “utilitarian” to the next level in the new video “Dressed For Dinner,” in which a dapper David Blaine suits up to elude the appetite of a great white shark. The illusionist and endurance artist descends 40 feet beneath the Pacific to greet the definitive predator—with the Kimmel suit as bait.
“Dressed For Dinner” was filmed off the island of Guadalupe, 180 miles off the coast of Baja. For one week, Blaine spent up to seven hours a day underwater with no device to protect him from the sharks. “Bowtie looks good?” Blaine asks offshore before he is submerged, more focused on his appearance than his pending mortality.
“I couldn’t believe that Adam Kimmel would take such a gamble by getting behind an idea like this,” says Blaine. “I spent years learning how to hold my breath, and figured the most intense place to do it would be in the middle of the ocean with the great white sharks… For me, there is no feeling that compares to looking at these extremely powerful and perfect creatures just sifting their way through the ocean.”
Stakes are high as Blaine dons a blood-red cape and the shark circles with intrigue. Either in sartorial admiration or shock at Blaine’s resolve, the shark suppresses his appetite and allows Blaine to touch him. Blaine highlights the suit’s utility by retrieving a banana from the pocket as a school of fish surrounds him in an act either of solidarity or of Schadenfreude.
“David loves pushing the limit with everything,” Kimmel said. “What’s even crazier is that he ate a banana 40 feet under water while holding his breath.”
A kind of mocking piccolo melody and new, psychedelic-patterned shirt bring levity to the near-death situation that seems to have passed. Blaine smugly smokes a cigar underwater—movie magic, rather than Blaine’s preferred variety. “When he smoked the cigar underwater, he took a mouthful of milk and blew it out to create the illusion of smoke,” Kimmel explains.