Damir Doma is one of those young designers showing in Paris that you know will be around in years to come. Since establishing his label back in 2011, he's tapped into the dark but romantic aesthetic that has seen customers flocking to the likes of Ann Demuelemeester for years and this season felt like his eureka moment. While his past collection have shown promise, there's always been something missing but for S/S13 it seemed like he'd reflected on this and really narrowed in on what his customer wants.
The clothes were good, really good. Following on from his exploration with his current penchant for the feminine form, just about everything came with an emphasis on the waist: high waisted silk slouched pants, leather dresses and even bomber jackets. Like many designers, Doma was interested in proportions too, particularly on outerwear, which were, by far, some of the strongest pieces in the collection.
Another strong development this season was the colour palette. His usual muted palette of white and black were there but this season he introduced emerald blue and green tones on silks that had more than a bit of a Haider Ackermann twist about them, which isn't necessarily bad thing considering that the designer has been heralded as one of the best colourists since Yves Saint Laurent.
More than anything, the collection was the epitome of practicality and tapped into this new concern for fuctionality. With that in mind, clutch bags were oversized to make sure that you can fit all of your essentials in and while he decided to carry on with heels, they were sturdy and definitely a departure from the styles we've become accustomed to. The loose fit of the trousers and the oversized proportions too, will definitely go down a treat with his fan base and will no doubt get his some new fans too.
Damir Doma's fall collection was interesting. The black looks that he used to open the show created a false sense of security but as the collection progressed, the Dutch designer played with new elements. This came in the form of a new interest with proportions as trousers often came in parachute styles and traditional Indian sarouel shapes. Outerwear was also scaled up, as has been the case in all four cities this season, especially on a great wool and leather mix jacket and ankle grazing double breasted cat.
The opening black looks gave way to browns on leather jackets, fur and suede jackets and high neck tops that had an air of 'luxury traveller' about it. Inspired by all things 'Renaissance', Doma introduced pieces like a tabard-style vest that felt like a protective armour but is unlikely to get his customer excited. While his experimentation with new elements should be applauded, especially since it was a risk deviating away from the aesthetic that works, these pieces didn't quite work.
Damir Doma went in a different direction today. His usual hard edge gave way to a softer aesthetic as models appeared in floaty chiffon and loose fit dresses and feminine skirts and shorts in gold brocade. Halter neck gowns came in navy, as did a dramatic but classic one shouldered style that looked similar to the orange Lanvin that Beyonce wore recently at the VMAs.
His hard edge wasn't completely gone. This season he experimented with gold hardware embellishment on jackets, off white waistcoats and skirts came with raw edges and dresses were given a slight utilitarian feeling with oversized pockets on loose silhouettes.
Although I'm a fan of his more masculine minimalist style, the departure this season worked. The simple lines were still the same and the subtle perfectly imperfect details were there but the new colour palette of mustard, navys and golds added something new and his experimentation with femininity felt like a development of his style rather than feeling counteractive.
The Damir Doma show was pretty flawless. When it comes to unfussy simplicity, it doesn't get much better. As you would expect, the collection was minimal and featured a lot of tailoring - after all, Doma was a menswear designer before - but the pieces were equally strong and somewhat feminine at the same time.
Black cycling shorts appeared with oversized simple white tops and black jackets. Leather dresses made an appearance under Mongolian wool jackets which also came styled over midi-length structured grey dresses. Dark grey jackets came over white shirts teamed with a maxi skirt in the same grey hue with a distinctive zip detail on the front.
Although the colours were largely black, white and navy, towards the end of the show, Doma introduced leopard print on a coat and bag styled with a brown dress and tights. A gold mini dress appeared under a peach single-breasted blazer and a mustard-y yellow colour came on a loose fitted jacket and wide-leg trousers.
Mary Katrantzou just took a big step forward in her career, and after a standout collection at London Fashion Week, it looks like she's onto something. The Swiss Textile Federation chooses one young designer each year to give a €100,000 prize, €10,000 of which is dedicated to purchasing Swiss fabrics. The recipients usually fall into the ones-to-watch category. Case in point: last year's winner, Alexander Wang, who's about to open his first stand-alone shop in New York's Soho district.
This year, congratulations go to Katrantzou, who beat out Jason Wu, Duro Olowu, Damir Doma, Adam Kimmeland Juun J for the top spot. And what can we expect from the textile star's next collection? She told British Vogue: "It's a progression of this [collection]. It's not as thematic, and it's darker than this season...The thing is, if I say too much, then it will give it away. Like with this collection, if I had said 'rooms', it would have given it away completely."
Croatian-born designer Damir Doma's training with Raf Simons was evident in his debut women's ready-to-wear collection. The designer, who finds himself in Paris by way of Germany and Belgium, has the same sensibility as a Simons or a Yamamoto: Keep the textiles simple and rich, and let the lines speak for themselves.
Doma crafted wide-fitting menswear styles for his ladies, with monochrome blazer and sheer maxi-skirt combinations following this season's urge to modernise power dressing. As for dresses, the Paris Fashion Week first-timer delivered loosely draped cuts - sometimes hyperbolically so - with extended hood details. In one instance, a black headwrap style called to mind a hijab.
Doma might be an under-the-radar name now, but his cult status in menswear has been widely recognised among tastemakers. Since launching his men's collection in 2006, Doma has been featured in street-cred magazines like Metal and Jefferson Hack's AnOther Man. Let's see if he'll be as big of a hit with the ladies. If he keeps producing breezy but sophisticated collections like this, our bet is on yes.