David Koma AW23 – London Fashion Week
Amy Pateman looks back at the new collection from the Georgia-born designer
For London Fashion Week, David Koma AW23 staged a magnificent study into the underlying elements of 20th century glamour that made its glory. Embodied by icons like Marlene Dietrich – whose radical dress sense blurred the lines between feminine and masculine symbols of desire – the collection suspended itself between two revolutionising eras.
Glamour was a sensory stimulant: an enigmatic feeling founded in timeless atmospheres, warm nostalgia and images that draw us in with a seductive pull. There were the smaller details throughout that left their indelible impact – sensuous red lips, a glossy nail, a cut-glass heel, or a satin lapel.
Sensuous and beguiling colours instinctively began to paint the picture: deep lipstick red, regal ultraviolet, alluring lilac and lavender, and electrifying tulip yellow. Identifying dress codes and silhouettes that resonate with our subconscious, Koma created the perfect interaction between un-traditional evening wardrobes for women and men before our very eyes.
The tuxedo was magnified to oversized proportions or slimmed down to fitted longline manifestations. The hemlines of jackets were shortened, while jeans appeared in patent leather moulded right in to your thigh-high boots to extend the lines even further. Even the classic men’s shirt was twisted into erotic shapes to subvert our perceptions.
Liquid satin lingerie, crystal-encrusted knitwear, fluffy mohair halter-neck mini-dresses, and gowns embroidered with ombré sequins cascading from transparent to opaque – the collection drew us in with its seduction and class.
Graphic detailing and rhetorical gestures added their own subtext to the story. We were taken on visual detours to the forgotten history of the cigarette, or “torches of freedom” to the suffragette movement in the late 1920s. These narratives embraced an old-fashioned symbol of glamour loaded with controversy and historical context, and told a different kind of tale. It’s probably just one of the reasons why David Koma is seen so regularly on some of the most creative artists in the world.
To read our review of the Christopher Kane AW23 show at LFW, click here
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