The scene backstage at Damir Doma was chaotic. Plunged in semi-darkness, the hive of models, dressers, hair and makeup people erupted into shouting. A p.r. representative helpfully shone the light from his phone at the mood board.
Minutes later, the looks were on the catwalk and serenity ruled. It was dark matter, for sure — both in terms of the austerity of the outfits, many of which were rooted in men’s wear, and the dingy lighting that prevented guests from fully making out the details on the all-black looks, of which there were many.
But you didn’t need a spotlight to appreciate Doma’s singular aesthetic, which seems far removed from seasonal fads and the clamor of social media. His models ambled across a patchwork of frayed carpets in quiet, considered clothes that conveyed a kind of elevated pragmatism.
Short-sleeved tunic tops worn with sweeping long skirts were as comfortable as they were elegant. Ditto the roomy overcoats, their lapels adorned with strings of talismanic beads. Oversize tops had a similar ease: sleeveless vests with raw seams, extrawide jackets and ribbed sweaters pierced with steel rings.
These contrasted with lean, layered silhouettes in which tunics, dresses and skirts — many adorned with Doma’s signature topstitched judo belts — were underlaid with slips of black or pale rose silk.
“It was a lot about looking back onto my own work, much more than looking at what’s happening around me,” Doma said backstage.
“I feel it’s a quite confusing period not just in terms of design, but in terms of business and in terms now of what’s going on, so for me, it was easier to look into myself and try to calm down, and point out the things that make my work different from others,” he added.
His show was a reminder that a whisper is louder than a shout.