It's not easy being David Koma. We all know him for his statement dresses so along with that comes the pressure to produce interesting updated styles each season but this is a challenge that Koma actively embraces.
This season the collection had minimalist meets sci-fi warrior feeling about it. The show opened with a white dress with fringing from the waist down on peplum details amd Polynesian prints came along the arms and the chest over a sheer fabric. Showing that he can do more than dresses, Koma also played with the print on loose fitted white trousers teamed with a waistcoat over leather fringing nipped in at the waist with a yellow belt. Yellow then came printed on pencil skirts and along the arms of jackets and dresses. For those of you like me who don't shy away from wearing black in the summer, Koma offered a selection of black dresses in the same prints but this time, teamed with flashes of turquoise.
While some of the looks were not anything we haven't seen before and could easily have been edited out, the Polynesian printed pieces were strong and definitely made up for it.
Last season we all had the British Fashion Council's New Gen to thank for sponsoring our favourite shows. Holly Fulton, Michael Van der Ham and David Koma all received sponsorship to produce their critically acclaimed spring/summer 11 collections and today, the British Fashion Council revealed that all three will receieve sponsorship again this season. Come february they will join Louise Gray and Mary Katrantzou who will also get funding for a runway show.
This morning David Komashowed his first collection in collaboration with NEWGEN after being amongst the few, including Holly Fulton and wonder boy Michael Van der Ham, to win full sponsorship from the scheme - and rightly so. Season after season Koma has shown interesting architectural pieces turning him into the go to designer for celebrities like Cheryl Cole and Beyonce.
This season saw a significant departure from all of the lazer cut architectural pieces he showed for fall, but his signature leather pieces were there in full force. 50s influenced dresses came in leather in black and white and in shades of pink, as did skater skirts with heavy folds. White mesh appeared under separates like cropped tops and tucked into bod con skirts. Halter neck dresses were sexy with cut outs on the back and with T styles. Peplum dresses featured in abundance in dusty pinks and yellows styled with raw python rouched belts along the waist adding a hard edge.
The accessories were a strong as the clothes. This season saw the designer debut a series of bold accessories like huge silver geometric knuckdusters and chunky cuffs in gold and hematite, in collaboration with Mawi.
The collection ranged from being monochromatic on dresses and separates all the way down to accessories but also offered pastels (that were far from sickeningly sweet) and lashes and lashes of gold on bod con dresses with metallic embellishment.
There might have been an air of the '80s in David Koma's architectural minidresses, but that needn't put you off. A series of black on black, dark grey and nude looks strutted fiercely down the runway for Koma's AW10 show, with some fantastic power jackets and party wear for the body-brave. Although the collection saw minidress after minidress parade in all its angular glory, don't be fooled into thinking that it was a monotonous one - we couldn't pick between the statement party dresses that proudly appeared with tiers of ruffled zip teeth, or the dynamic dresses that cleverly juxtaposed heavy felt and leather.
An obvious fan of the zig-zag, the triangular pattern could be seen running throughout not only the shapes of the dresses, but in the seam construction as an unusual touch on the back of a jacket, and was followed through into the model's hair parting - showing Koma's attentive eye for detail, such a good eye for detail in fact that it meant the relatively new designer had both Louise Wilson and Mrs Brown sitting front-row.
Hermione de Paula, the Central St. Martins alumni who graduated with a first-class degree, has been named the recipient of this season's Vauxhall Fashion Scout Merit Award for Autumn/Winter 2010-11 season. De Paula takes over from David Koma, who was awarded the Merit for his Spring/Summer 2009, and William Tempest, who has also won the award.
The award is important to up-and-coming designers, as it means that they are able to introduce their creations to the fashion cognoscenti during London Fashion Week. The designer is well aware of what winning the award means, commenting that, "February is set to be a busy and exciting time for me with my first standalone catwalk show at London Fashion Week and the launch of my Spring/Summer 2010 collection at Browns Focus."
We're excited to see what Ms de Paula will have to offer come February, but given that in the space of one season she has risen up the ranks from 'One To Watch' to fully-fledged Merit award winner, we imagine that this is certainly not the last we will be hearing of Hermione de Paula and certainly not the last we will be seeing of her quirky yet elegant designs.
The British Fashion Council has announced the names of 19 fashion businesses to receive BFC NEWGEN sponsorship, supported by Topshop. The sponsporship to most if not all the designers acts as somewhat of a launchpad, as it enables them to show their designs at the forthcoming London Fashion Week in February 2010. Caroline Rush, joint CEO of the BFC explains: "NEWGEN is an essential element of the BFC's designer development and showcasing programme. This season we have an incredible wave of original, innovative and talented emerging designers who will, without a doubt, support London's reputation as a creative capital."