As New York Men’s Fashion week gets imminently closer, things are slightly abuzz. Though we’ve admitted our love for comfort and wearability in the Round 1 Designer Preview, there is another side to fashion that is more closely aligned with the values of art. Of these, Alexandre Plokhov, Kenneth Ning, and Siki Im are particularly memorable for their distinct, carefully articulated take on menswear, all while just pushing the envelope enough to be considered great.
New York City-based Alexandre Plokhov always imbues a darker, neo-gothic feel into his work through his relatively minimal, uncluttered designs that allow creative construction to speak for itself. Perhaps, it is a recurring mysterious element, but Plokhov’s collections seem vulnerable and romantic in its own melancholy sort of way. For seasons past, Plokhov has featured draped cloaks that resemble a cozy blanket, tempering an otherwise militant collection with that emotionality. It will be intriguing to see how he balances this delicate nature and keeps it fresh, while simultaneously continuing to move forward.
Barely two years into his namesake label, Kenneth Ning has showed he can hang with the big boys. The most formal of these three designers, Ning focuses heavily on suiting and crisp shirting, exhibited his obsession with orthogonal patterns along the way. Pixel-like prints and striking lines dominate his suits while also keeping his audience on their toes with unexpected construction and fabric combinations. Working within the confines of formalwear is difficult, but the limitations push Ning to maximize his creative potential, none of which seem to be a concern.
Though all of the aforementioned designers are articulate in their design, none more so than Siki Im. Each show is given a title, list of inspirations, quotes and select information about Im’s thoughts during his work process. Wondrously eclectic, he draws from art movements, political and social issues and even animated movies, like Wall-E. Through text, Im is able to discretely express the ideas that he attempts to convey sartorially into masterfully wonderful collections.
All superbly skilled, each designer is blessed with a vision. It’s only through their work that the people are able to experience that artistry. And so, with eager anticipation, we wait for NYMFW to begin.