Siki Im: F/W 2013 collection
“Fashion is BS,” Siki stated before taking a sip of a double expresso. “I don’t care who buys my clothes.” Siki Im was born in Cologne, Germany, and educated in architecture at Oxford University. With a diverse cultural grounding, Siki Im became inspired to try his hand at fashion. New York based, his self titled label is made up of menswear-chic with an androgynous edge and a unique, fresh perspective on monotonous, straight-cut fashion.
Im worked as a senior designer for Karl Lagerfeld and Helmut Lang, two profound experiences to have under his leather-studded belt, before creating his own line in 2009. After winning the esteemed Ecco Domani award in 2010, won previously by elites such as Alexander Wang, Im’s line has begun gathering serious momentum. The 2013 F/W line ended its showroom period in Paris menswear market week on the 23rd January, since which Im and his talented team have been building up to display the new collection at New York fashion week.
Im expresses a sharp intellect and yet he maintains an endearingly modest approach to his trade. Inspiration for his new line sprung from one of his favorite classics, ‘If On A Winter’s Night A Traveller’ by Italo Calvino, a book which looks into itself and reflects on the mystery of life. Im’s enlightenment is revealed throughout his collection; displayed on a tee that holds a paragraph of the novel as the motif.
Other influences include August Sander, a German photographer from the early 20th century, who captured the hardship of the working class in the 1930s. Stirred by these images of poverty stricken men, Im gave his collection a “poor” look exhibiting thick, heavy wool trousers with a low waist line, mirroring German tram conductor uniforms of the ‘30s.
Im continued this thread of inspiration with his fur aprons, open backed shirts, vintage wool-silk blazers, and long, substantial beige outerwear. This idea of struggle and destitution- perhaps not an image you see often in the fashion universe- was particularly prevalent in Im’s F/W ‘13 look-book where he used an aged man from the streets with thinning silver hair and sharp, piercing facial and body structure as a model.
That’s not to say, however, that the collection is missing a modern twist. Inspired by bustling city life, in particular New York City, and the constant mix of cultures, Im also exposes a fascination with the modern world. Through his intricate design, men, or women, can firmly hold the past and the present in wearing Siki’s garments, exhibiting an approach that is missing from many nouveau designers.
Siki Im’s F/W 2013 New York runway show takes place on Tuesday 12th February 2013.
by Eliza Horton
Gloobbi Contributor based in Paris