Collecting Fashion Collections


The wardrobe collection of the man responsible for America's most prolific and widely disseminated cellphone (not a fact, a personal observation) -Steve Jobs.

The wardrobe collection of the man responsible for America’s most prolific and widely disseminated cellphone (not a fact, a personal observation) -Steve Jobs.

Siki Im’s method of designing and making fashion -not clothes but fashion- is inspiring, though-provoking, and hopeful. In a presentation he delivered for our course, Siki Im made endearingly resentful remarks about what seemed like his disappointment towards the current state of technology, as it has manifested in cellphones, social media, and avatars; and thus our subsequent nomophobia as a result of our reliance on the cellphone as a robotic machine.

Adding onto Gilles Deleuze’s (1991) theory of blurring, permeating, or fusing binary opposites, Jean Baudrillard states that objects are intimately bound up with their subjects (1986, 1). Objects, according to Baudrillard become possessions that are “no longer simply material bodies” but instead they “become things of which I am the meaning, they become my property and my passion” (1996, 1). If we think about the extent to which the self is imbued in the objects that we own, what can be thought of the amount of time and privilege that we invest into the virtual cyber reality space offered by our cellphones? During the explanation of his design process Im also made constant references to the idea of the body in space and our spatial relation. Im insinuated that he realized that his cellphone had changed his experience of space during a bout of nomophobia while learning to surf in Costa Rica. He asserts that this object has changed how and why we interact with each other and with our spatial temporality, implying that human interaction has become overshadowed by our absorption of the square space of these robots.

In Im’s fashion collection Human/Machine S/S 2015, he addresses his technological discomfort by employing modernity’s mechanisms as well as it’s stereotypical association with futuristic lines (in his patternmaking) to create, style, and present a soft looking, free-flowing, easy-going, partially tie-dyed, and simultaneously edgy collection that aimed to be rich in its humanness. The visual language in Im’s collection communicated a hopeful endnote: that humanity will win over machines. Collecting clothes is an unending practice of accumulating possessions in which we unconsciously invest ourselves in the objects that we wear. Our sense of embodied style affects who we interact with. If someone were to do a wardrobe study on an individual, certainly those clothes would become a sartorial biography that would outlive and become an extension of the owner-collector more so than a cellphone that becomes obsolete.


Reference List:

Baudrillard, Jean. “The Non-Functional System or Subjective Discourse.”  In The System of Objects translated by James Benedict. London; New York: Verso 1996 [1968]. Pp. 1-17.

Deleuze, Gilles. “The Fold.” Yale French Studies 80 (1991): 227-247.

2 responses to “Collecting Fashion Collections

  1. Shayna, I like your thoughtful comments on machine, technology and the virtual ciber reality space offered by cellphones. I did not pay much attention to the fact that we have become so addicted to technology today until the lecture given by Siki Im and then by your blog post. Ten years ago, I reached my friends by visiting and hanging out with them in their homes. Today, I spend two hours sometimes a day on online social media “hanging out” with my friends in China. It is at once amazing and intriguing, given the great geographical and temporal distance between me and them. I feel that they are around yet they are not. It is weird how technology has impacted the way humans interact with one another so dramatically. The virtual space it presents creates an illusion for me and confuse me. I wonder where technology would lead us in future. I am not a big fan of technology really, nor a connoisseur of it like Siki Im. I am a little afraid that technology takes others away from me in a physical manner. I guess I can totally resonate with Siki’s SS15 collection as well as his quest for humanity and questioning of technology .


  2. You make some very thoughtful comments combining your observations about Im, Deluze, objects and machines. I wonder about the human v. machine tension Im brought up in this presentation. Does humanity necessarily need to win over machines? To me, this speaks to his anxiety surrounding technology which we generously and freely admitted. How do you feel about this debate, Shayna?

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