New York Fashion Week Backstage Grooming: Siki Im's "Prison-Inspired" Look

Our New York Fashion Week grooming report takes us backstage and behind the scenes at Siki Im's Spring 2014 show.

Our New York Fashion Week grooming report takes us backstage and behind the scenes at Siki Im's Spring 2014 show.

The Inspiration

"This collection is based on prisons," said Im, who's known for referencing the most unlikely of places. "I researched prison uniforms and tattoos, and also looked at other institutions like hospitals." In addition to designing with materials like nylon and plastic and a palette of "broken pastels of rose, beige, and grey," Im enlisted the help of his tattoo artist, Maxime Bchi, to develop a custom print (see above) for his collection. After watching The Mark of Cain, a documentary about the subversive tattoo culture of Russian criminals, Im returned to work on his collection with the simple but haunting message of "everything has meaning."

The Grooming


"There's no part. It's not fancy, and it's tough as nails," says stylist James Pecis of the stark, severe look he created. Hair was simply slicked back with a healthy dollop of Bumble and Bumble's Gellac gel, which "is as strong as it gets." Some models were also sent down the runway with custom-made pieces (see above) inspired by artist Matthew Barney's "The Cremaster Cycle," a series of five "kind of sick, hospital-vibe films," as well as by the wet washcloths prisoners throw around their necks to cool off on a hot day. Except instead of soft, cotton towels, these have been treated with a substance to render them rock solid. At first glance, they just look like towels, but when the guys walk they don't move at all," explains Pecis. "I've been in a phase of creating things that are not what they seem. These defy gravity."


Makeup artist Benjamin Puckey took a minimalist route to keep the guys "matte and fresh looking." After prepping the skin with Mario Badescu's Peptide Renewal Cream, which "makes the skin look vibrant without any greasiness," Puckey dabbed on Chanel Correcteur Perfection Long Lasting Concealer to cover blemishes. A light dusting of Mario Badescu Special Healing Powder, which "absorbs oil and looks invisible," finished the look.

What did Siki Im think?

"Things look raw, but still have a certain elegance. There's a juxtaposition of playfulness—that's hopefully not too comical—with something that's interesting."

Pro tip

Like the matte look, but afraid of powder? Puckey recommends stashing a pack of Shiseido Pureness Oil-Control Blotting Papers. They're easy to use, discreet, and instantly absorb excess shine.

—Katie Chang is a writer and shopkeeper based in Brooklyn. Follow her at @katieshewrote.

Photo by Nicholas Prakas Photography

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