Watching the David Koma spring/summer 2014 collection this afternoon was an experience in contemporary sculpture. The pieces Koma sent down the runway were created with just as much precision, as much careful thought to form and structure, as anything ever composed of stone or steel. Of course, these dresses and separates are a lot more comfortable to wear than pieces made of stone or steel, but the precision and strict adherence to lines is still there.
The look started simple enough: a white A-frame dress with a couple of carefully placed sheer panels. The second look was similar, but in black. The monochrome look continued, alternating which was the dominant color, for several looks. Koma moved to a modified asymmetrical wrap skirt, then a cropped jacket with very tight pants, but then shifted back to the simple dresses as the palette moved from white to bone and from black to blue.
Once he was into blue, Koma added more stripes but kept the same well-structured silhouettes. External folds and pockets were the first and only interruptions and even those were carefully tailored so as to not disturb the overall lines of the dresses.
Then, the designer added leather and with that simple change the entire aesthetic switched from something architectural to channeling ancient Samurai warriors. The clothes, and the models, looked more severe, as though they might draw swords and wreak havoc among the infidels in the audience. Suddenly, there were sleeves, which had been non-existent heretofore, and what had been simple, pretty dresses were now imposing, even threatening in their appearance.
This collection is significantly darker that the bright greens and oranges David brought to this season last year. His silhouettes are more refined and he was careful to not get excessive with his embellishment. If there is any room for criticism, it may be that the last few looks are a bit over dramatic, to the point of almost becoming costumes. Such criticism would be strained, though. The look is strong and empowering, one that many women around the work will find very exciting to wear.