After living in London for 20 years, Georgian-born designer David Koma finally gained British citizenship, and decided to pay homage to his newly adopted country by referencing two national obsessions — football and rugby — with his fall collection. The theme played out in typical hot-blooded fashion.
“I feel like I’m in the Premier League,” he laughed backstage. “It was interesting for me to celebrate women in such male-dominated sports.”
The lightning-quick show took place near The O2 arena, home to elite sporting events, but inconveniently a 45-minute schlep from central London.
Their faces glistening with sweat, models emerged from the dark fringes of a vast, pitch-black event space and whisked around circular patches of pitch, their striped sport socks occasionally peeking out from high-heeled boots with crystal-pavéd shin guards.
Markus Ebner, founder of the German fashion magazine Sepp, which is devoted to soccer, will surely be calling in the referee T-shirts and the striped minidresses for some future shoot. And women who like their fashions fierce will no doubt gravitate to Koma’s beefy leather biker jackets, or jeans jackets with demonstrative and fluffy collars.
All that tough chic, occasionally quite bulky, was tempered by the preponderance of bra tops, kilts of a length considered scandalous at English schools, and shiny thigh-high boots ringed with crystals.
Backstage, Koma explained that the crystals were a wink to the Crown jewels, which he embroidered onto oversized mesh for sleeves, or a barely there miniskirt.
While everyone was talking about sweatpants during the pandemic, Koma said his business — which focuses on sexy, minimalist cocktail and eveningwear — exploded, doubling and tripling every season. Go figure.