The East London streets that surround the Shoreditch studio of David Koma, where this season’s show was staged, inspired designer’s imagination. The oily, iridescent colour formations of petrol on the pavement triggered his fantasy and transported his mind to underwater marvels: the neon-like rainbow hues of translucent creatures that
light up in the dark of the deep sea, illuminated by the crystalised shimmer of shells and starfish.
For Spring-Summer 2023, a conversation between accidental and environmental beauty informs a collection founded in the clash and harmony between the natural and the
cultural. The gasoline motif inspires a focus on garments connected to motorsports, while its subaquatic associations generate a study of the uniforms of water sports with nods to images of Dr Sylvia Earle and her Tektite II team, the first all-female divers to spend fourteen days underwater in 1970.
“It was completely dark, except for the flash, sparkle and glow of the bioluminescent creatures who make their own kind of firefly light,” Dr Sylvia Earle once remarked. “It was like gliding into another galaxy.”
This stream of associations sets the tone for a collection adorned in under-the-sea surface decoration. Starfish are evoked in colourful crystal embroidery; oyster shells materialise through iridescent crystals and the tentacles of octopi are manifested in mirrored plexiglass. Hand-woven macramé tops and skirts evoke fisherman’s knots, while the treasure-like silver and gold seashells cluster together forming statement necklaces. A series of dresses are garlanded with super lightweight plume, mimicking the buoyance of the deep blue sea.