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David Koma brings aquatic aesthetic to LFW

The Georgian-born designer merged sports lux swimwear with red carpet silhouettes

David Koma brought to life a vision of an oceanic aesthetic on the opening day of London Fashion Week. Set in the aptly chosen London Aquatics Centre, spotlights shone on the Olympic swimming-pool-turned-runway, as designer David Koma showcased a vibrant colour palette of ocean-worthy silhouettes.

The designs floated down the runway in shades of neon pink, yellow and appropriately themed aqua blues. Koma opened the show with an elastane dress coupled with a high-neck silhouette, suggesting the influence of wetsuits in his designs. The theme of water continued throughout the collection. Transparent sequins were laid over vibrant jackets and trousers giving the illusion of being submerged in water, as models weaved between the towering architecture designed by Zaha Hadid. The colossal setting gave a feeling of grandeur, yet was minimal in design, notably exaggerated by the absence of an audience at the virtual show. 


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The influence of swimwear was evident in the minimal lines of barely-there bikini tops and cut-out dresses. Oversized jackets and sweaters were paired with cinched waists and mini skirts, merging the masculine and feminine together. Koma redefined geometric shapes, sending an almost aerodynamic one-leg leotard down the runway. At the East London show it was hard to distinguish between the diving centre setting and the red carpet aesthetic.

The dialogue was opened between swimwear and high-fashion red carpet looks, in the form of cut-out motifs and feathered trims with shoulder embellishments. According to Lyst, searches for cut-out pieces have increased by 39% over the last month with a 27% increase in searches specifically for cut-out swimwear.

Pavel Kamarski, stylist at Harrods told _shift, “I like the vibrant colours and combinations of textures and feathers, I think the colour blocking is well styled but definitely calling for the younger generation. He’s giving us sexy with sophisticated touches. I love his style; I think it’s innovative, sharp and very recognisable.”

With styling by Marc Goehring, statement black underwear was visible beneath sheer, embellished evening dresses and paired with fingerless training gloves in keeping with Koma’s recurring nod to athleisure.

David koma, make up, beauty, Illamasqua

Image courtesy of Rebecca Maynes via The Hut Group

Pablo Rodriguez, director of artistry for Illamasqua, led the beauty team at the SS22 show. “The inspiration for the makeup look was Bond Girls coming out of the water, so the main feature was to make the skin look super wet. For that I used Illamasqua Lip Polish in Glaze, it is a clear lipgloss that can also be used on skin and eyes too. To add a beauty element, I applied loads of black mascara and a very thin liquid liner to emphasise the eyes.”

Koma comes to London Fashion Week with an impressive fan base; Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez and Kendall Jenner are all cult lovers of the brand. Anything Queen B drapes on her body, we will too.

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