Siki Im’s fashion designs are heavily influenced by his relationships with other forms of design and creation: music and architecture. Like Deleuze, Siki is fascinated with the fluid and the potential of materials to form, mold and change. Akin to the example in the Deleuze piece of a wave made in the water at a certain speed is the same hardness of a brick wall, Siki appreciates and utilizes materials, knowing that they do not just have one purpose and one state of being. The malleable cement in his architecture and his blazer concept are two examples of this.
“I used the blazer and started dismounting it and reversing the process of togethering until we arrived at the beginning stages: pattern making. We chose certain patterns of the blazers and folded it in CAD (Computer Aided Design)…by this origami effect which Deleuze says, ‘folding and unfolding the longer simply means tension: release, contradiction, relation, involving, devolving, involution, evolution.’ The simplest way of stating the point is to say that to unfold is to increase where is to fold is to diminish, to reduce…we went from 2D to 3D to 2D again.”
(2D to 3D to 2D. I wonder if any of the Transformers can do that).
Here, we see his tendency to play with shape and form and his understanding of the blazer as more than just a men’s and women’s work-wear staple. He is a master manipulator and visionary and sees not limited structure, but the possibilities that materials have to offer through distortion.
I would call Siki an academic because he successfully derives his design inspiration from theory and culture. Even though he said “cynically” that “it’s all just bullshit” when referring to his designs and the ideas behind them, I believe Siki take his himself, as an academic, seriously. He included a slide with the Foucault quote:
“The work of an intellectual is not to mould the political will of others; it is, through the analyses that he does in his own field, to re-examine evidence and assumptions, to shake up habitual ways of working and thinking, to dissipate conventional familiarities, to re-evaluate rules and institutions and to participate in the formation of a political will (where he has his role as citizen to play).”
Not only did this quote help me with my own struggle of knowing what it means to be an academic and how it can affect others, but it is also a testament to Siki’s feelings about non-conformity (as objects and materials should not conform solely to certain states but rather be in motion or change shape, structure or density). Through his designs and ideas, he offers new ways of thinking, new ways of working with materials that make people re-examine their assumptions. The only problem with this quote is that because his designs are a business, there is the intention for a formation of customer will (to buy) and not just to re-evaluate the rules and institutions of design.