LFW SS22: David Koma

IN AN ode to the multifaceted nature of swimming costumes and their development over the years, David Koma and his SS22 collection plunged us into the deep end of discovery, opening a dialogue on how swimwear is subject to gaze.

“Constructed like a second skin on the body, its [swimwear] multi-faceted iterations span the poles of performance and sensuality, and every area in between,” the press release reads. Tip toeing between sportswear and eveningwear, the collection challenged the boundaries between each, posing a new hybrid of both with athleticism at its core.

Opening with a periwinkle blue and black lycra dress, the technical material conjured up ideas of wetsuits, but simultaneously the unusual cutouts, contrast stitching, and ruched sleeves brought an overarching glamour to the look.

This balance of the two continued throughout. Plume trims, commonly seen on evening-wear gowns, were adapted to the hems and necklines of lycra to mimic underwater movement; sequins too, were scattered across dresses to suggest wet droplets of water; and transparent sheer materials created the illusion of being submerged into water.

Set in the London Aquatics Centre, the show’s location was an apt reminder of the theme, and the use of a wet tiled catwalk served to heighten the message. The transformative power of water was inescapable as each model took a step.

Paying homage to the London Aquatics Centre architect, Zaha Hadid, the collection celebrated the aerodynamic sensibility of garments made for the aquatics, making links to the hard and sculpted geometric elements that can also be deciphered in the construction of buildings.

Characteristic lines drew your eyes from the outfit outward, providing a visual stimulant to appreciate the connection between clothing and architecture.

The neon wash across the collection punctuated through the otherwise flowing stream of looks. Taking influence from the colours that accentuate sportswear, Koma applied the hues as monochromatic fits, glamourising the pale yellow neon, fuchsia, bubblegum pink and aqua in the process.

Koma’s signature crystal embellished doodles across hemlines and so forth, took new precedence for SS22, symbolising the sparkling ripples found in waves of water. The wet look hair and dewy faces amplified the aquatic wardrobe on show.

Noting Annette Kellerman, who popularised synchronised swimming at the turn of the century and was one of the first women to wear a one-piece swimsuit, and Florence Griffith Joyner, the American world record-breaking sprinter, as muses, David Koma made sure to conclude that is how and why the woman wears the outfit, not the other way around, that is of the ultimate and truest importance.

by Lily Rimmer

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