SEARCHING FOR HUMANITY

Siki Im Spring/Summer 15 Collection

The Fold

In Idoru William Gibson writes, “I think I’d probably tell you that it’s easier to desire and pursue the attention of tens of millions of total strangers than it is to accept the love and loyalty of the people closest to us.” This quote alludes to the imperfection and vulnerability of humanity that Siki Im strives to highlight in his Spring/Summer ’15 collection Human/Machine. In his attempt to design garments that “reevaluate the current landscape” (http://sikiim.com/info/) by approaching design in terms of space as opposed to just the physicality of the object; Im is able to materialize the law of opposites that make up human nature. It is this law of opposites that Gilles Deleuze describes in The Fold: Leibniz and Baroque. In The Fold Deleuze argues that “the world is interpreted as a body of infinite folds and surfaces that twist and weave through compressed time and space.” (https://www.upress.umn.edu/book-division/books/the-fold) This idea of an infinite fold consisting of both high and low (the physical and the soul) that form a constant loop that inform one another not only speaks to the polarities of the universe, but also allows us to picture the universe as a series of connections that are “open ended and exhaustive, non-inclusive and unlimited, exterior and infinite.” (https://anarchistwithoutcontent.wordpress.com/2013/04/08/the-fold-explained/)

One might ask how Im is able to translate this concept of “the fold” into his designs. As he stated in this week’s lecture, “the architecture of the fold questions the inside and the outside. The public and the private. You and me. That’s what the essence of my designs are about. I hope there is a certain degree of honesty there. It’s not perfect.” Thus, he is able to express the dualities that make up human nature through the imperfect styling of his garments which, were seen in his Spring/Summer’15 show and his use of prints such as tye-dye to express the “cheesiness of humanity.” This provides a stark contrast to the perfection and precision involved in his use of traditional men’s tailoring in juxtaposition to the quick construction of garments that we are so used to seeing through the growth of fast fashion.

As a result, Im’s designs speak to the fact that fashion is more than just about the clothes. That it is emotional and has the power to make people feel something. This sense of emotion is reflected in Im’s use of the academic and the creative to create clothes that are not only representative of his brand’s ethos but that also maintain a certain element of “humor and fun.” Consequently, Im has successfully been able to build a brand that evokes emotions that can “transcend into any design language” and that materially manifests the idea that humanity is much more than what we see on the surface. That like space, all the complicated matter that composes every individual isn’t always visible yet, is ultimately linked in an infinite loop which as Deleuze stated, if unfolded leads to growth; and when retracted causes us to withdraw into the recesses of the world.

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