David Koma said he became “obsessed” with the ethnographic photography of 19th-century artist Edward Curtis, which led him to explore the traditional dress of Native American tribes and interpret their folklore and cultures for fall.
But when you put prevalent notions of what comprises the traditional dress of tribes like the Apache or Chinookan Indians into Koma and pull the lever, what comes out is far from a pastiche of silver and turquoise belt-buckles, feather headdresses and fringed suede chaps. Working in a pared-back palette of black, white, red and violet, he translated those tribal codes through a Sixties Mod lens into a lineup of sexy, sassy clothes, marrying satin-shiny calf hair with hand-embroidered mesh, leather and shearling.
Nods to gaucho dress could be seen in the flared leather skirt and black turtleneck, worn with Western-inspired calf-hair boots; in the long sleeveless coat layered over a white knit and tall boots, and in the black calf-hair jean jacket, trimmed with black, white and red fringing.
A feathered headdress was reimagined into macramé embroidery, and sparkly crystal or laser-cut mirror embellishment and appeared as feathers of varying scale on red-carpet-ready dresses. And those turquoise and silver belt buckles? Koma adapted them into shiny circular clasps on belts and buttons.