The day before the show, David Koma was very comfortable. “I’m optimistic about all of this,” he said. “It may be the calm before the storm, but it’s coming together and I’m pretty happy with how everything looks.”
It’s no surprise that Koma is in good spirits. His fall collection revolved around the notion of glamour, with legendary German-American actress Marlene Dietrich as his muse. It certainly feels like his forte. “She’s someone I’ve admired for a long time,” he said. “I wanted to put her legacy, and my admiration for her life’s work, at the center of it all—she was one of the first major figures to experiment with an androgynous style, which was particularly bold in her day.”
Koma combined design cues from 1930 and 1960 and twisted them to fit his ideas for the modern woman’s wardrobe. There was a twist on the classic tuxedo, its silhouette exaggerated by shortened jacket lengths and trousers in high-shine patent leather (some boots were also made of the same moonshine material as the trousers).
It won’t be wearing David Koma’s show, don’t wear flashy party attire. He used “lipstick shades” and sorbet shades on asymmetrical tops, skirts and dresses in satin and embellished knits, as well as feather-trimmed pieces, at Attracts attention as it flutters down the runway. Nods to the classic red nails came in a Mongolian lamb wool rendition of a dress with layers of elongated sequins, a ruffled skirt with crystal-encrusted slits dangerously high, and a feathered evening cape.
Delicate pieces feature hand-cut patent leather flowers joined with silver rings to replicate the look of chainmail, taking his haute couture philosophy further into ready-to-wear. “It was a huge amount of work — it took my team a full week to do it in our studio,” he says.
Smoking motifs appear in the form of biker jackets, patched with vintage leather jackets sourced from east London. Elsewhere, jewelry pieces in collaboration with designer Emily Frances Barrett included resin-impregnated Marlboro cigarette butts scattered among decorative pearls and cascading chains. There’s even a gem-encrusted cigarette. “I’ve been a fan of Emily since I bought one of her pieces a few years ago, so it was only natural that we would do something together,” he said. “In the 1930 days, smoking was considered vulgar, especially for women, so I wanted to pay homage to that.” floor, with its deep red floor reminiscent of a real Hollywood red carpet.