David Koma Autumn/Winter 2024

By Adele Cany

Cloth­ing comes alive in inter­plays between light and move­ment. Togeth­er, their impacts ani­mate the archi­tec­ture of a gar­ment, acti­vate its sur­face dec­o­ra­tion and imbue it with life and emo­tion. For Autumn-Win­ter 2024, David Koma inves­ti­gates the radi­a­tion and phys­i­cal­i­ty intrin­sic to his work through a study of dance. In an imag­i­nary exchange between the late Ger­man neo­ex­pres­sion­ist dance pio­neer Pina Bausch and the con­tem­po­rary Span­ish action artist Can­dela Cap­i­tan, the col­lec­tion decon­structs the dress codes of the on-duty and off-duty dancer’s wardrobes through the mod­ernist glam­our of David Koma. It mate­ri­alis­es in a ten­sion between min­i­mal­ism and max­i­mal­ism in both form and colour lan­guage. Inspired by spaces expe­ri­enced at Thin Air – the light­ing exhi­bi­tion staged at The Beams in 2023 – the pro­pos­al con­sid­ers the effects of light in both gar­ment con­struc­tion and staging.

Pina Bausch’s adap­ta­tion of real-world dress codes into dance attire, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with cos­tume design­er Mar­i­on Cito, takes shape in black and white sil­hou­ettes con­struct­ed around a body con­scious leg­ging or a volu­mi­nous trouser. On these min­i­mal can­vas­es, abstrac­tions of the dancer’s wardrobe unfold: the jus­tau­corps of the train­ing uni­form trans­form into draped tops while the bal­let busti­er morphs in form and become evening dress­es. The tutu trans­mutes in fab­ri­ca­tion, elec­tri­fies in colour and trav­els around the body, shape-shift­ing into shrugs cre­at­ed from gath­ered chif­fon, sash­es and scarves craft­ed in marabou, cas­cad­ing feath­ered hems and peplums, and the burst­ing under plumage of mini-skirts, rem­i­nis­cent of Rebec­ca Horn’s feath­ered kinet­ic sculp­tures. With­in this dis­place­ment of gar­ments on the body, new lay­ered sil­hou­ettes appear: skirts worn over trousers, or trousers over­laid in floor-length translu­cent dresses.

Can­dela Capitan’s tech-cen­tric approach to move­ment inspires con­struc­tions that imi­tate a sense of dig­i­tal­i­ty and invite the refrac­tion of light. They man­i­fest in tai­lor­ing struc­tured in sculp­tur­al neo­prene, dress­es cut from liq­uid jer­sey, and in the mer­cu­r­ial sur­faces of leo­tards and sheer over­lays. Graph­ic expres­sions craft­ed through the very hand-spun come to life in vivid­ly-coloured floor-length macramé sil­hou­ettes framed by chunky knit­ted stoles pos­ing as shear­ling, or frayed tweed pos­ing as plume. In turn, authen­tic shear­ling appears in the erupt­ing lin­ing of leather bik­er jack­ets and cer­tain skirts. In plays with illu­mi­na­tion, gar­ments are encrust­ed with rock-sized crys­tals set in raw met­al ringlets. Echo­ing the gram­mar of dancer’s shoes, the col­lec­tion fea­tures plumed satin sling-backs, soft knee-high leather boots, and the David Koma sig­na­ture sil­ver-toed thigh high leather boots.

See the full col­lec­tion below: