Thursday, September 22, 2011


Posted by Fashion Editor at Large

Polynesian tribal tattoos, the work of artist Kim Joon, Hawaiian grass skirts and Highland kilts informed Koma's show

I like David Koma. He is a very driven, yet straightforward guy. He also reminds me of how I imagine Mr Tumnus from C.S Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia  to look (in a good way). This makes me warm to him. Plus, you know, he is Georgian, partly raised in St Petersburg, and I hung out with him there in his favourite coffee shop last November, and met his friends, and he showed me around a bit and was so charming. There's nothing better than seeing someone in their manor to get the measure of them. Oh and did I tell you his MA St Martins graduate collection was worn by Beyonce and Cheryl Cole?

David Koma

So when I visit him at his studio, he picks up the thread of a conversation we started back in St Petersburg about Pearly Kings and Queens. "Remember?" he says. "Well for the Spring/Summer 2012 I've moved it on. I realised what I liked was the iridescence. So I've been looking into materials that have a pearly light quality to them. I've found a Perspex with an iridescent film coating that takes on the colour of whatever it is attached to," he says showing me the triangular pieces. You can see the pieces attached to the dress as seen at his runway show yesterday, below.
David Koma SS12, check out the way the iridescent Perspex catches the runway lights

David's work is very upscale, for a certain kind of luxury-living-and-loving woman, so it stands to reason that his fashion show demonstrated that hard-bodied silhouette, even in a season that so far is focused on lightness, looseness and layers. While his show had a weightiness to it, and kept up the bodycon silhouette, lightness came in the surfeit of bright white, and beams of bright pink and yellow in the collection and the skin-revealing silk jersey devore he used to create pieces that looked like tattoos on the body. "I was inspired by the artist Kim Joon," he explained, "I like the idea of taking the way he drew on the body, and explored how I could develop the idea of a second skin in fashion." Having handled the pieces, I can tell you they are as light as air.

David Koma SS12

David was also working from a hybrif idea he had that was something between a Hawaiian grass skirt, and a kilt. You can see exactly what he was trying to do with the below outfits. It's so fascinating seeing how an idea can go from a moodboard to a runway. After his last polka dot inspired show, David Koma the business gained four international stockists. With this collection, he will keep them happy. 

David Koma SS12 - are you getting the hula-hula feeling?

David Koma SS12 - kilt inspiration

The clothes packaged up and ready for the runway.