David Koma AW20 London Fashion Week – From Wearable Art To Wearable Architecture

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Image By: Megan Bailey

From the 30 second elevator ride sweeping his audience to a devastating view of the London skyline, to the uncommon layout allowing everyone front row access, David Koma presented not just a collection but an experience, in which the original inspiration and the final pieces met at the top of the Leadenhall Building (affectionately known as ‘The Cheesegrater’).

Anticipation was high, with many well-known names in fashion, including model Jourdan Dunn, although many guests had to settle for viewing via their colleagues’ smart phones as bad weather and continuing travel restrictions in China kept the usual front row suspects away.

Koma Delivered.

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Image By: Megan Bailey

Stand out elements of this collection were Koma’s heavy use of jewels, especially emeralds, also featuring in the opulent collection of Jewels by Alan Anderson on show at Canada House on the eve of London Fashion Week (worn by stars from Viola Davis and Katy Perry to Dame Elizabeth Taylor). Although Koma stopped short of an actual tiara, the emerald and diamond pieces, as well as other daring ideas, elevated many of what would otherwise have been basic dress down pieces and office wear staples to red carpet status. On the shoulders of one black dress they even hearkened back to a Victorian style ballgown.

Koma’s ‘Cheesegrater’ dress, or more probably tunic, worn over bike shorts, has already been featured on the building’s own Instagram (imitation is the sincerest form of flattery) and stood next to the ‘Gherkin’ inspired outfit in the final line up, as in life. Although it’s hard to use the word ‘subtle’ when talking about this collection, there were so many small details that I doubt any of us caught them all. For example, that ‘Cheesegrater’ dress also featured jewel box colours; hemlines featured silver letters spelling out LONDON; there was even a hard to spot Union Jack or two.

His skyline inspired lycra print featured heavily on bike shorts and a high neck, hi-tech outfit contrasting with his cutting away of intrinsic parts of many outfits: shoulders, midriffs, the breast of an otherwise formal dress to reveal a sparkling bra, even the thighs of bike shorts, often asymmetrically.

Opulent, yet dark, Koma was unafraid of mixing lime with silver houndstooth, leather neutrals, more gems, this time in morganite with what looked like a thigh holster, black latex reminiscent of ‘The Matrix’, pink suits, so much bling it bordered, in a nod to 70s England, on glam rock, flight jackets, corsetry worn over the top, with gloves, many of them bejewelled, stretching from the back of the hands to full length.


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Image By: Megan Bailey

And a T-shirt.

It was intoxicating to experience the view from the top, but with the closing track of Pulp’s ‘Common People’ and the use of jewels chiming with Christopher Kane’s collection, I wonder if, like Kane’s £85 ‘More Joy’ T-shirts, we’ll see a lot more of the Koma T-shirt as the rest of the collection slides out of view.

British Fashion Council