Tag Archives: Siki Im

NYFW SS 2015: Siki Im


Siki Im is as much a storyteller as he is a designer. His collections are narratives, sometimes autobiographical, always personal, and often laden with modern metaphors. These narratives can be complicated, so much so that Im provided a reference guide which this season included William Gibson, Jean Baudrillard and Disney’s WALL-E. The intrigue began well before the clothes came out.

Printed in the show notes was a thesis on the implications of technology on human interaction and its effect on fashion. With advanced developments in personal computers, robotics and artificial intelligence, human interaction has theoretically become utterly avoidable. Through isolation, humanity risks being reduced to a mere concept, a “rational idealism.” But humanity is not rational, it is “idiosyncratic,” and the idea of human interaction disappearing altogether is, as Im says, “irrealizable.” Clothes, worn on the body, are rooted in human emotion and ultimately fashion “appraises” technology, giving it value rather than bending to its presence, “fashion lives beyond technology not within.” And so clothes become an increasingly important expression of our humanity.

It’s a potent thesis not just for its philosophical and psychological implication but for the simple fact that it made for some pretty amazing clothes.


Mecha1 Mecha2

My personal favorite Robotech designs – J.L.

What is modern dress in this technological age? Im addressed it by turning to his personal experience and took inspiration from the 1985 anime show Robotech. For those unfamiliar, Robotech was a Japanese sci-fi show about manned giant humanoid robots called Mecha which are used to fight an alien invasion. The show is especially known for its extremely intricate and stylized animation design which enjoys a huge international fan base of admirers who build their own 3-D model Mechas, often with a level of detail fit for an Industrial Light & Magic production. Im translated these robotic forms, essentially fantasy concepts for human body extensions, into garments.



Showcasing his virtuous talent in cut and construction, he reverse engineered these bold designs into their fundamental geometry and applied them with Vionnet-like cunning to cloth. His translation is extraordinary. Im avoided any retro-futurist clichés like body armor or neoprene and the end result was a series of subtle and sensuous shapes built in linen, cotton and silk. His expert engineering is masked by the graceful ease of sumptuous, fluid and tactile fabric. It’s just the fix you’d need against the dispassionate machine.



Last season Im was inspired by the German Krautrock music movement and this season he further indulged the relaxed line of the ‘70s. Elongated soft jackets in stripe and seersucker, “neoteric” medieval tunics, loose flowing pants in cotton voile and gossamer silk; it was a softer side of Im never seen before. The collection was styled into the archetypal dandy, not unlike Quentin Crisp circa 1979 if he were dressed by Armani. Mixed in were streetwear memes which Im has touched on many times before. Both pastoral and aggressive, hyper masculine yet feminine, the contradictions presented as Im’s propositions on volume and soft dressing danced between these two archetypes was stirring. And if all the philosophizing grew too heavy, bursts of tie dye and fuchsia interrupted any overt seriousness. As the boys marched down the runway, as their pants poured over their legs with the rhythm and flow of a whirling dervish, and as the heavy electronic track boomed overhead, this season’s story turned out to be a page-turner.

In the end Im’s narrative set up a powerful metaphor: that advanced robotic technology could be transmuted into an immensely humanistic expression. The designer is breaking down our stagnant ideas on futurist dress and imbuing them with a truth and a reality that is so breathtakingly gorgeous. Perhaps more than a storyteller Im is a poet. And beyond that he’s a world class talent.

A Softer Side of Siki


Siki Im Spring/Summer 2014. Styled by Jeremy Lewis, photographed by Daniel McMahon. All rights reserved.

If On a Winter’s Night A Traveler

Thursday Evening…


This event is free and open to the public. Due to limited seating it is strongly advised to arrive early. 

Garmento presents: Conversations in American Menswear


photographs by Alex John Beck, all rights reserved.

Never before has menswear been so developed or diverse as it is today. Traditionally conservative and slow to change, international menswear design has grown exponentially in the last 15 years, rivaling its women’s counterpart in conviction if not in creativity. This has not gone unnoticed in New York City as a new crop of designers submit their own take on contemporary men’s dress.

In an effort to open a dialogue about what these new paradigms might be Garmento zine presents “Coversations in American Menswear,” a radio-style interview series held at the Museum of Arts and Design. For four nights Garmento founder and editor Jeremy Lewis will engage four of New York’s most intriguing and compelling designers to find out what it is that makes them tick. While each of the designers live, design, and have shown their work in New York, none of them are American-born. As the series investigates new discourses in American menswear, it will also attempt to find out who the new “American man” actually is.

Siki Im – April 11, 7:00 pm

Antonio Azzuolo – April 25, 7:00 om

Tim Coppens – May 9, 7:30 pm

Patrik Ervell – May 23, 7:00 pm

All talks will be held in the second floor galleries of the museum and are free to the public. The Museum of Arts and Design is located at 2 Columbus Circle New York, New York, NY 10019

“Conversations in American Menswear” is a part of MAD’s After the Museum: The Home Front 2013. For the complete schedule of events and exhibitions please visit: http://www.madmuseum.org/series/after-museum


Siki Im, Fall/Winter 2013

SI2013AJBBackstage at Cafe Rouge, February 12, 2013

photo by Alex John Beck, all rights reserved.