London based designer David Koma is the first design mentor within the Sport inspired focus area. He is an emerging designer established in 2010. As I have mentioned previously, his aesthetic, especially within his most recent collection, Fall 2013 Ready-To-Wear (below) closely resembles my own. Koma’s work is described as “synonymous with the ultra-body contouring silhouette” on his website bio, which also indicates he is inspired by Thierry Mugler, another one of my chosen design mentors (David Koma 2012).
The colour palette for this collection is limited, mostly black and beige, with a muted blue and a bright red contrast. However, the colour of each look is generally monochromatic.
The silhouettes within this collection are mostly body conscious with exploration of distorting sections of the figure, for example the images above respectively illustrate, distortion of the waist, dissection of the limb and squaring of the bust section.
There is a strong focus in the collection on lines which contour and dissect the body and it utilises an interesting combination of the two. The direction of lines and the cut in majority of the collection have a waist area focus, with horizontal lines above and below and pointing towards the waist. There is emphasis on line, shape and cut contouring and working against the bust. These areas of focus on the form are similar to my own design style. Another sport focused design aspect is the attention to details at the elbow, with sleeve endings and fabric contrast panel lines, implying and giving way to movement. This is something I am already heavily focused on and intend to explore within my graduate collection.
The use of various juxtaposed fabrications, stretch against stiff, smooth against textured, transparent against opaque, create a sporty feel within a collection which would otherwise be very tailored.
In relation to my own aesthetic, this hybrid of fabrication and style, bodycon silhouettes, dissection of form through paneling and cut, and refined colour, strongly reflects my own design aesthetic. Distortion of the body through line and silhouettes within the collection also creates subtle futuristic mood, which is relevant to my design work within a futuristic area of research, which involves depiction of the Posthuman body which I interpret as a distorted human form.
The next collection I looked at is the Spring 2013 Ready-To-Wear collection, which has prominent tennis inspiration, from colours and cut, to lines and fabrication.
The colour palette for this collection consists of black, white, peach, aqua and peacock blue. Unlike the previous collection I looked at this collection makes use of colour matching within each look (above left, middle). This use of colour can be likened to my design style of introducing contrast within looks.
This silhouettes in this collection are extremely body conscious with most of the looks close to the form and any lose silhouettes are created with transparent outer garments. The only exploration away from the form is the use of tennis inspired skirt flares. Similar to the last collection I examined, Koma has kept most of his garments to the form exploring only minor distortion on chosen sections of the figure. This is, again, much like my own work (See below, left of fitted jumpsuit with sleeve focus).
As discussed, strong use of line and shapes (this time with introduction of colour contrast) is present within this collection. Once more the direction of these lines, such as the V motif draws attention to the waist. The example below (right) also illustrates my own exploration using the waist as a focal area. Koma’s use of fabrication echos his Fall 2013 collection (discussed above) with juxtaposition of transparent with opaque, and pattern with plain.
As seen in the examples Koma’s work within this collection bares similarities to my own design style, with indication of strong sports influence. I feel there is also a futuristic mood created through colour selection, cut, and the choice of a transparent bright aqua fabric.
The following collection, Fall 2012 Ready-To-Wear consists of a mostly black, white and grey, with some hints of primary, and droplets of secondary colours.
The silhouettes in this collection emphasised his signature waisted silhouettes with exploration of peplum shaping (below centre) to emphasize the hip area. Attention is also drawn to the neck with repetitive use of tight stand collars.
The cut in much of this collection is similar to his more recent work as discussed, but there seems to be a focus on ovals and uniform curves as seen in the examples below. Cut-outs utilised within this collection echo curves of the upper body, located on the shoulders and around the bust. There is also repetitive use of oval cut-outs (below right) to create patterns on the form.
The fabrication in this collection (as discussed) is about juxtaposing fabrics with different properties, especially Koma’s use of transparent fabrication against the opaque. In this case applied to sleeve endings to place emphasis on the wrists or elbows.
The use of cut outs and lines which flow with the form indicate sport influences, however this also illuminates the feminine side of this work through the use of peplum cuts. The futuristic vibe created using static motifs (especially in the example above, right), as well as cut-outs and layering, are all areas I intend to explore in my graduate collection.
The Spring 2012 Ready-To-Wear collection is much more colourful than the other collections examined, Paneling and use of stretch fabrication aid to create the sporty futuristic mood.
The colour palette of this collection has a base of black and white and bright yellow. Amidst this is a spectrum of contrast colours in pastel and iridescence. I am currently exploring base colours and iridescent fabrics along with glowing pastels, which bares similarity to the colour matching style within this collection. Like the other collections examined the silhouettes explored are bodycon with some peplum.
The use of shapes is dominant within this collection, rigid futuristic patterns are used throughout the collection in foiling and juxtaposed with transparency. Again transparency is a large part of this collection dominating entire garment foundations with strategically placed shapes. There is juxtaposition of what appears to be stretch and stiffer fabrics. The waist is, as per usual, a focus of line and panel work in the collection.
Next, a collection where nearly every look is adorned with polkadots, the Fall 2011 Ready-To-Wear Collection.
The majority of the collection is black with some skin tones and various highlights of orange, teal and primary colours. The silhouettes are Koma’s standard body conscious waisted silhouettes. Again, there is some exploration of peplums with cohesive knee length A-Lines skirts.
The focus in this collection is the use of shapes and lines. Prominently polkadot dominated, the collection builds interest by using the circular motif in diverse methods. some of these include gradation (above left), scale variation (above centre) and laser cutting (above left, centre). The lines used in this collection are mostly curved, such as necklines, opening and features (see above), which echo the curves of the form. The only use of straight lines in the collection are at extremities of garments and accesories. The visuals in the collection are very much based on variation of a motif/pattern, which is something I will explore in terms textile design within my collection.
This collection does not have as strong a focus on sports as previously discussed, however there is use of stretch fabrication, cut-outs and body contouring shapes displaying influences derived from sports.
Fabrication involves a variety of fluid fabrics, from the stretch fabric in the dresses, to the leather skirts, which encompasses the fluidity of the collection. This focus on theme is something I am exploring, the idea of creating and using fractals in my collection by applying it to all aspects of the collection. For example the use of man made against natural fabrics, with mechanical and organic looking motifs, juxtaposing fashion as the technological against the biological form.
The next collection Spring 2011 Ready-To-Wear is a progression from pale ballet inspired to a dark futuristic look. The colour palette is also progressive, opening in white, pale pink and pastel yellows, introducing sections of black and gold, then a return to monochrome with a palette of all black. This is an interesting exploration of colour combinations and is something I can refer to in my own work.
The silhouettes explored are quite feminine with fitted bodices and tight waists, Koma explores a variety of skirt silhouettes; tutu inspired peplums, asymmetrical pencil skirts, A-lines, bell shapes and some full length split skirts, some appearing quite sporty (above left, right).
The focus is on the lower section of the form hence the cuts within this collection tend to refine the upper torso with bodice shapes spreading from the neck. There is however a solid use of cut-outs in the torso area as seen in the examples above, as well as asymmetrical hem shaping. Apart from the waist focus, lines tend to flow along the form, vertically or diagonally.
Once again there is variety in fabrication beginning with a combination of dress and sporting fabrics and ending in embellished leather. There is a sporty undertone implied with the use of flared skirts and a vibe of progression resulting in futuristic embellishments. Hence this collection works to guide my design focus as well area of research.
The Autumn/Winter 2010 Collection is prior to Koma’s more mainstream work with a lot more exploration of silhouette. Still carrying Koma’s body conscious handwriting, form away from the form is explored as well as playful zigzag motifs.
Like his later work the colour palette of this collection is muted and limited to black, grey and beige. Still very focused on a tight waist the figure is accentuated with what appears to be wadding or padding (above centre), this use of padding gives the look a sporty, yet feminine appeal. The entire collection is an exploration of the lightening bolt or zigzag motif, spreading across the form in a body conscious manner (This is similar to the use of the polkadot motif mentioned above). This exploration of form away from form is something I intend to explore in my graduate collection and it is something I have not explored much of prior to this, so as a mentor Koma’s work in this collection would be extremely relevant. The cut in this collection is very dramatic with various necklines, openings, cut-outs and protruding shapes explored.
The last available David Koma collection is the Spring/Summer 2010 Collection. This is a lot more colourful than the previous one. The use of colour and bold lines creates a sporty vibe in an otherwise soft collection. This collection has a strong focus on lines, shape and body contour, with use of bold colour and surreal shapes this collection has a peculiar and playful mood.
The colour palette in this collection consists of black and white bases, various primary and secondary colours and a hint of fushia. The silhouettes within this collection are fitted to the form with some bodycon form distortion (above centre). The organic looking curves and cuts in this collection are truly unique to Koma. His use of flat colours and embellishment against organic shapes, is another example of Koma’s use of juxtaposition to create focus. The cut outs within the collection is similar to my own design aesthetic of contouring shapes to the form.
A few prominent aspects of David Koma’s design style is reflected throughout his work. There seems to be an overarching sport inspired focus, some more prominent than others. His colour palettes generally include black, white and a muted tone such as grey or beige. Koma’s Spring/Summer collections are slightly more vibrant generally, when Koma does make use of colours these tend to be primary or secondary colours, very occasionally does he use colour outside of this spectrum.
The silhouettes explored are close to the form and body conscious with a tight waist, occasionally Koma will explore form away from form. David Koma designs using a lot of shapes which dissect and contours around the form. There is also consistent use of juxtaposition throughout his work; through shape, cut and fabrication. Utilising diverse fabric types, Koma has a tendency to experiment with opacity.
Ligaya Salazar, the editor of the book Sport V Fashion, describes the common ground in fashion and sport as “the pursuit of playfulness, shared interest in the human form and production of spectacle,” (2008). Koma’s work is a precedent to my own embodies the above. The futuristic mood present in Koma’s work is something I intend to explore within my own in my graduate collection, along with silhouette distortion and experimenting with form away from form. Similar to my own aesthetic, Koma’s use of tight waists, form dissection and body contours, work together to create sporty collections which emphasise the body.