- Associated Press - Thursday, February 4, 2016

NEW YORK (AP) - Are we afraid of monsters, or afraid we ARE the monsters?

It’s a question for the ages and one designer Siki Im decided to present in clothes of black, oxblood and aubergine Thursday night as the second New York Fashion Week: Men’s drew to a close.

Some of his models were painted in drips of black and yellow as they walked a stark runway in looks that included a killer pair of black leather pants and woolen blazers he should be proud of.

These architectural clothes, reflecting his training as an actual architect, are for the truly urban and cultured male, not easily thrown on to run suburban errands or attend a neighbor’s cocktail party.

But back to his undead.

“We went a little bit crazy this time,” said Siki, who worked under Karl Lagerfeld and as head designer at Helmut Lang before he launched his namesake line in 2009.

“The collection is about my fascination with vampires, watching movies like ‘The Hunger’ and ‘From Dusk Till Dawn,’” he explained. “But I went even further, looking at our fears. We all have certain darkness and the question is embracing that and hopefully through that process finding liberation.”

There’s a certain luxe lurking among Siki’s vampires. He used fabrics from Italy that lent texture and depth, including cashmere coats and pants. Subtle prints played out in the wool of a few blazers but also car coats combined with leather.

Some canvas jackets and pants were Teflon coated and tops were furry for the winter season.

Siki was born in Germany and made his way to New York City by way of Oxford University. He presented two lines at once, his namesake Siki Im and his extension line, Den Im. He intends the two to be mixed and matched.

He wanted this show to be raw, strong - and more personal as he has sought out his own inner resilience by becoming less afraid of our demons. Death, after all, may not be the end.

“I’ve learned to be more honest and transparent with myself,” Siki said. “I’m embracing my own darkness. There’s always hope.”


Follow Leanne Italie on Twitter at https://twitter.com/litalie

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