David Koma‘s Spring/Summer 2015 collection graced the runway yesterday at London Fashion Week to much acclaim. The looks started out as simple, fresh, and fun summer looks with little pops of yellow or blue. Yet as the show continued, the looks became more complex and eventually showed a strong connection to the De Stijl modern art movement.
Created in large response to the devastation caused by WWI, the De Stijl movement was driven by the artists’ idealistic and utopian visions to create a harmonious visual language of geometric shapes – mostly straight lines, squares, rectangles as well as primary colors. When I first studied this movement years ago, I hate to admit that I didn’t really understand it. Yet age brings perhaps a little wisdom at least, and life’s experiences have brought a greater understanding of and appreciation for the De Stijl movement.
As I was watching David Koma‘s show, the realization of the connection was a slow development, as each look showed just a tiny reference to De Stijl, with a little pop of color here, a geometric shape or angle there.It wasn’t until Koma began to really incorporate these elements more boldly together that the collection started to directly connect to the art movement. And ah, that realization made watching the show not just a fashion experience, but a thought-invoking, full visual art moment of enlightenment. I immediately became enamored with this collection. Absolute genius, Mr. Koma.
In addition to the De Stijl connection, I also found Koma‘s collection to be a beautiful balance between harsh, angular shapes and a more rounded, delicate form flowing around the models’ bodies. Implementing mostly A-line silhouettes was a thoughtful move when coupled with the geometric design, which can very easily make the garment more masculine and unflattering to most female figures. Koma obviously put in a lot of thought and care to fuse these elements together beautifully in a decidedly artistic but feminine collection.
Was the connection to the De Stijl movement an intentional connection, simply an inspiration or odd coincidence? According to Koma’s bio, he studied fine art in St. Petersburg before moving on to fashion. So it’s very likely that Koma was exposed to the De Stijl movement during that time. I’m going to make the assumption it was intentional…but either way, the collection and its immediate association to an idealistic art movement makes me smile.