Last February, David Koma marked 10 years in business with one of his most confident shows to date, and while the world has turned upside down since then, the London-based designer hasn’t lost momentum.
Operating as a small-scale, family-style business, he was able to work from home with his team and deliver a full resort 2021 collection and look book — but not the lo-fi, homemade kind that some have been producing.
His body-hugging silhouettes have been cut with the precision he is known for, and his flair for glamour and polish has remained very much intact.
What did change drastically was the backdrop against which the collection was presented: The gardens of Hascombe Court in Surrey, England, which were designed by Gertrude Jekyll in the Twenties. The venue was near to where Koma had quarantined for two months.
For a city dweller like Koma, known for his futuristic outlook, this was an opportunity to reconnect with nature. He became in awe of the serene visuals and the ever-changing landscape outside his window and let nature become his motivator during the design process.
This translated into the pops of green sprinkled throughout the lineup, and the array of neutral hues, from the nude corsets to a see-through, sequin gown meant to mirror the reflection of the water in Hascombe Court’s striking geometric pond.
There were plenty of familiar ingredients, too, including the brand’s popular cutout minidresses and sharp tailoring.
Koma also kept up the confident, playful spirit he telegraphed in his last show with in-your-face embellishments and a wider selection of ready-to-wear that came in the form of neon pink cycling shorts, mini knitted skirts or a vinyl jacket with just the right amount of volume at the shoulder.
“I’m interested in defining the beauty I believe in, and playing with juxtapositions: That makes sense to the girl I’m speaking to,” the designer said over a Zoom call.
His ability to stay true to his vision, adding just enough newness each season, will surely serve him well in an increasingly competitive market where women are already starting to crave the joy of dressing up again.