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TAKING place in an underground art venue in Marylebone, David Koma’s autumn-winter 2024 runway show was not one to miss.

Exploring radiation and physicality through the practice of dance, Koma looked to the late German neo-expressionist dance pioneer Pina Bausch and the contemporary Spanish action artist Candela Capitan for inspiration.

Pina Bausch – one of the most significant choreographers of our time – cleverly intertwined dance with theatre, speech and music to create provocative, powerful displays.

Having worked alongside costume designer Marion Cito for quite some time, it is no surprise that the trailblazing practitioner honed an ability to translate real-world dress codes into dance attire.

For AW24, Koma has followed suit and created a series of minimalist yet maximalist looks. The justaucorps of training uniforms have been expertly transmuted into draped tops. At the same time, the iconic shape of a ballet bustier has been adapted to provide structural integrity for elegant evening dresses.

Further iconic silhouettes from the dancing world are transformed with tutus following the body’s natural undulations. Gathered chiffon shrugs and marabou scarves, presented in a kaleidoscope of hues, pay homage to the quintessential dancing ensemble.

The designer has also referenced Rebecca Horn’s feather kinetic sculptures through cascading feathered hems, peplums and the under-plumage of mini-skirts.

Despite dance being the focal point of the collection, there is much to be said about the importance of light for the latest seasonal offering. As onlookers were ushered into the show’s underground venue, it became immediately evident that the production was somewhat reminiscent of Thin Air – the lighting exhibition staged at The Beams in 2023.

Through delicate manipulation and refraction of light, the clothes come to light with a sense of intense digitality. Garments constructed from sculptural neoprene, liquid jersey and leather bounce and reflect the light, casting cascading shadows upon the venue’s floor.

Biker jackets emerge with authentic shearling adorning the linings, whereas other pieces are embellished with rock-sized crystals adding further scintillation and glamour.

Mirroring the grammar of dancing attire, the collection exhibits a variety of satin sling-backs, soft knee-high leather boots, and the David Koma signature silver-toed thigh-high leather boots.

Perpetuating Koma’s timeless allure, the AW24 show was an enigmatic display of colour, light and movement.

by Sophie Richardson


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