Thursday, February 18, 2010

NYFW: Siki Im AW10

Siki Im's 'New Era' Shot by Shawn Brackbill for Dazed Digital.

I am now sitting at my desk in London a little bleary eyed and somewhat dazed after a surprisingly busy stay in New York. During my time in the big apple I was ever on the quest to discover new designers to share with you. I stumbled across one of my favourite finds just when my thoughts were drifting back to the busy schedule at LFW and my desperate need to pack. On my final night of New York Fashion Week I came across Siki Im and his band of lost bankers...

I do not feel too bad about not being familiar with this exciting design prospect because things are moving quickly for Im. Thanks to google I've discovered that Im used to be a senior designer at Helmut Lang from 2006 to 2009 before launching his own line for SS10. The former architect challenged conventional notions of men’s fashion with meticulous tailoring, architectural details and inventive silhouettes in a collection inspired by Golding's Lord of the Flies. This debut collection saw him awarded the prestigious Ecco Domani prize in the menswear category and ultimately an invite back for AW10. One can appreciate the polished look of Im's handcrafted, tailored jackets but the real drama lies inside. Im is a designer who places equal importance on the jacket’s interior and sees him use transparent silk organza as lining, allowing wearers to see loose threads that fuse the seams together. The designer hinted at the vision of his sophomore collection in a blog piece over on Interview where the designer teased, "the kids from The Lord of The Flies have grown up and are now facing a world of inconsistency and change." The collection entitled 'New Era' recounts a fictional satire of city workers and bankers, criticising their greedy values yet exploiting their sartorial traits. These are the men that grew up, got jobs on Wall Street and then lost it all.

At the end of AW09 I bemoaned the quantity of designers who focused on the negativity of the recession or at least played it extremely safe. The big 'R' word is surely weighing on the minds of the majority of designers but thankfully few took it up as a theme for AW10 because very few could turn it in to such an interesting, multi faceted collection. Here, Im translated the fall of banker with asymmetric cashmere felt coats, lapel less jackets, quilted skirts both long and short paired with asymmetric knitwear and quilted trench coats. Leather accessories including belts, key-chains, suspenders and totes are made with brand 'Made by Eugene'. Together with the New York Times printed hats and belts and the presentation narrative of office booths, this was a deconstructed interpretation of that lost ex-banker and their sartorial traits. As well as discovering a new talent, this collection might just change my attitude towards those fallen, financial fools...

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