A modernist interpretation of early 20th century Russian court dress, Spring/Summer 2017 marks David Koma’s first far-reaching foray into period costume. Through his typical 1960s lens, the designer – who was raised in Saint Petersburg not far from the Winter Palace – explores the grace and grandeur of the Romanov family, from the dramatic glamour of the tsarinas’ wardrobes to the graphic opulence of the imperial family’s beloved Fabergé eggs.
Uniform elements set a regal tone for the collection in hussar rope braid and loop closures, which appear throughout, evoking the image of women in military-inspired garments. The volume of the royal dress code of the time is introduced in capacious gigot sleeves, sliced across the shoulders to reveal the décolletage and applied to David Koma’s distinct strict structuring in dresses and tailoring.
Garments take on a princely air, such as a top sculpted like a tailed waistcoat. Majesty and modernism are further fused in the collection’s vast embellishment, which imitates the delicate ornamentation of Fabergé eggs. Intricate diamond patterns in crystal cover the surface of fabrics and fade into cut-outs at the hem.
Elaborate embroidery of white ceramic and neon stones bejewel garments like they were armour, while the Romanov’s signature sumptuousness meets futurism in Plexiglass and chain macramé constructions. In a final royal synthesis, court dress meets contemporary sportswear in shocks of acid green amongst black, white, and beige.