Last week, I attended Modus Publicity's impressive press day in West London: a buzzing expanse of prominent fashion labels, people and plenty to get excited about for Spring/Summer 2011. Amongst many brands I was pleased to peruse up-close, my eyes darted excitedly to David Koma's exhibit, as soon as I walked through the door. The fashion world has taken David Koma under its (highly-selective) wing, since he graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2009, with a distinction in MA Fashion. He has since won the Harrods Design Award, the Vauxhall Fashion Scout Merit Award and landed The British Fashion Council's NEWGEN sponsorship, which financed his S/S 2011 collection (Holly Fulton was also sponsored, whose S/S 2011 collection I also viewed at London Fashion Week). Striving to cement his style and continue to impress the fickle fashion world, it must be difficult for David (and Holly) not to feel the pressure. However, David's latest and only third collection, wowed the vast majority of critics. Celebrities such as Beyoncé, Kylie Minogue and Rhianna, are also fans.
|Beyoncé wearing an A/W 2009 David Koma dress, MTV Awards|
Central to David Koma's popularity thus far have been sculptured silhouettes (often architecturally-inspired), bold, theatrical embellishments and a powerful use of colour. The proud wearer of his clothes need not be shy, but confidently ready to take on the world, albeit perhaps, a futuristic one. See how the geometric-shaped metal tubing on Beyoncé's dress accentuates and celebrates her curves, while referencing Italian futurists Fortunato Depero and Umberto Boccioni as inspiration. Alongside such experimental elements such as the metal tubing, David mostly selects natural materials, such as silk, wool or leather.
Some are clearly more wearable than others, despite my delicious desire to turn up at a dinner party wearing one of the more cinematic creations. However, I've no doubt that David's celebrity following will provide the latter with a spectacular showcasing. Now back to the S/S 2011 collection, which I set my impatient sights on, arriving at Modus' press day.
First spot: a slightly different, softer initial offering, as was displayed at London Fashion Week, where David unveiled his dainty models to the haunting sound of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake. However, just as the music upped tempo, so did David. Everything got tougher and darker (presumably as the swan story unfolds), but even the fiercest of looks were infused with a grown-up glamour. Quite a transformation for a same-season collection: from blushing, pale-pink tutu skirts, delicate organza and ladylike peplums, to python (!), signature geometric leather and strong panelling. A big fan of Art Deco, I was delighted to witness its unmistakable inspiration here. Style.com suggests that "this young talent is still learning to refine his ideas." That may be, but I relished the experimentation, particularly up close. What's it like to feel these clothes? Magnificent. The shapes, textures, strength of material and craftmanship are remarkable. And, while the fashion world craves a 'statement style', I'm confident that David's ability to diversify (alongside his proven talent) will give him a long fashion life. Besides, it is only his third collection (not including his graduate collection). All pics below are David Koma, S/S 2011: