Women turn to men for sartorial inspiration all the time; why shouldn't it work the other way around? Siki Im has no problem borrowing from the girls, and this season's muse was Georgia O'Keeffe, picked not for her art but for her personal style. John Loengard's evocative black-and-white portraits of the artist at home on Ghost Ranch got Im thinking about graceful silhouettes and natural elements like clay and bone. From there it wasn't a big leap to an ecclesiastical mood, and Im's floor-grazing wrap skirts, unstructured tunics, and monks' chasubles were born. Undoubtedly a dreamer, Im is also a realist when it comes to retail. While he expressed hope before the show that at least a few stores would sell his skirts, his more traditionally wearable offerings should have no problem getting picked up.
With fabrics from specialty mills in Italy and Japan (ponyskin was a first this season) and denim from North Carolina, Im's made-in-the-USA pieces already carry an exclusive patina that buyers love. Cotton hoodies, drop-crotch pants, and subtly tweaked blazers all boasted a well-tailored fit while still retaining this season's informal ease. A fragmented cow skull print made for an architectural graphic, while a collaboration with outdoor sandal-maker Teva provided a utilitarian juxtaposition to the collection's feminine starting point. Worn with socks, they looked like the footwear of choice for styling monks. If Im can get socks with sandals to catch on, maxi wrap skirts may not be far behind.