NEW YORK, United States — Siki Im is never without a big idea. Perhaps that’s because he’s a voracious consumer of culture. For Autumn, he examined our fascination with vampires, tapping films like The Hunger, Let the Right One In and Vampyros Lesbos from his vast library of inspiration. “They’re broken souls, in between worlds,” he said backstage after the show, bouncing around from the natural high of a well-received presentation. (You could feel the audience's approval in the applause, not something that’s been widespread at this particular men’s fashion week.) “It’s the dichotomy that I’m interested in; the beautiful and demonic,” he continued. “I think [humans] have that, too.”
Im was literal with the makeup, dusting his models with ghost-white powder and painting their faces to appear as though blood was freely dripping from their chins. They were robed in garments that were neither gothic nor exactly street. Better to call them dignified. One look, a cropped wide-leg black leather trouser, worn under a collarless oxblood leather coat with a zip off bottom, had an armour-like quality. A black blazer was decorated around the neckline with large, oddly shaped geometric pieces of red leather to dramatic, if not flamboyant, effect. Those leather accents surfaced once again on the yoke of a collarless shirt and sporadically on a split-tone tee.
Im’s hero pieces are not clothes for the fearful; they require a certain open mindedness and taste. But even the quieter, building-block styles were impressive. The designer makes a great trouser: no matter how narrow or wide, they hung just right on the body. You could especially see his knack for proportion in an all blood-red ensemble of narrow jeans worn under an open tunic, which was, in turn, worn under a hoodie and jacket. The colour burned bright, but each layer was so clean that it didn’t hurt to keep looking.