Now that Galliano for Dior is no more, I've been reminiscing a tad. Brilliant minds can be tortured minds as well. When you lose humble control of your brilliance and allow conceit, stubbornness, cockiness and egotism to set in then pretty soon you set a path for bad self control. I liken Galliano to McQueen not only in talent but also in not being able to overcome their demons. Sadly the prices were paid, but there is something to be said of having a mindset for brilliance and not being tortured but humbly and artistically liberated by it. There are a few designers nowadays that make it their plight to put a tone of inspired, conceptual, almost philosophical brilliance into their collections. While not understood by all, those that 'get it' are enlightened and these designers in a way become modern day fortune tellers or societal motivators through cut and cloth.
I'll admit that when I first heard that Native American drum and lengthy almost chant-like wail from the man-woman duo at the start of the Fall 2011 Siki Im show, I was like 'huh?' But it started to make sense. The chanters, the dark introspective colors, the winding dirt pathways and the somber male models all told a remixed story of organics. Collectively we react oddly because we are so used to harsh flash & dash. However, when we're allowed to absorb the mood and setting, we see a story being told. This collection pulled inspiration from the natural beauty of native American custom by way of shapes, print and fit with a very modern American tailored sportswear aesthetic. It was a modern blend of taking the mood of the culture with some direct flecks injected and coming up with a clean intelligent approach.
Why intelligent? Well Im clearly made an subtle linkage to a historical simplicity in style to a very modern simplicity in style; the black uniform. He injected the organic quality lost by not using period cloths by giving shapes a softness achieved through garments being cut along natural lines of the body. A relative award-winning newcomer, Im's pattern skills were evident in a smart high funnel-necked trench and an X- blocked bomber jacket. Brilliant potential? Yes. Just more years and inspired collections under his belt to distinguish him between the tortured and the enlightened.