A RED carpet is an instant signifier of glamour. A moment that demands decadence, one that should seduce the camera and sustain itself within a timeless time-frame. However, among the myriad of trends and algorithms, these moments come, go and evaporates into your feeds. But for David Koma‘s autumn-winter 2023 collection, the designer wanted to create something representative of all the elements that come together to create those show-stopping moments.
Inviting guests onto the eleventh floor of an office block that looked over the City of London, he rolled out the red carpet and gave his audience a reminder of the impact that classic twentieth-century beauty can have. Inspired by Marlene Dietrich, who managed to embody both masculine and feminine characteristics within her fashion sense, Koma wanted to bring this concoction to 2023.
Taking the tuxedo – a signature of Dietrich’s look – he magnified and minimised proportions, playing between oversized silhouettes and form-fitting measurements, bringing forward his own version of the traditional smoking with his own touch of Koma seduction.
High-octane glamour was evident as always – this is Koma after all. Slits rose up high letting the hip-bone peak through, liquid stain lingerie made for a persuasive show, and ombré sequins that swept the vibrant rosy floor went from transparent to opaque creating a sea sparkle as the models walked past. More notable details of AW23 was the clever use of a plethora of materials such as chainmail, Mongolian lamb and layers of ruffles, adding a further depth to Koma’s vision of modern glamour.
While the looks evolved and the models paraded with confidence, some were holding jewelled model cigarettes made in collaboration with Emily Frances Barrett. Not promoting the age-old-bad-habit but rather bringing to light the origins of what they meant in the 1920s, cigarettes were considered ‘torches of freedom’ to the suffragette movement and became the perfect accessory to Koma’s AW23 offering.
Soaked in seduction and power, this collection was an ode to the two qualities that every woman possesses and for AW23, he just gave her the outfit to unleash them.