For his Spring-Summer 2022 collection, the London-based fashion designer David Koma
deep dives into the athletic glamour of swimwear.
In a contemporary exploration of classic bathing suits, David Koma turns to the iconic Australian swimmer Annette Kellerman. Putting synchronized swimming on the map at the turn of the century, Kellerman was one of the first women to introduce one-piece bathing suits into her aquatic wardrobe. In a 1952 musical film called „Million Dollar Mermaid“, the swimmer’s glittering legacy is celebrated through the lens of the American film director and choreographer Busby Berkeley. His colorful blending of professional synchronized swimming and memorable camp sensuality inspires Koma to transform the athletic glamour of swimwear into day looks and party wear.
The enchanting collection was presented at London Aquatics Centre in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Designed by the British Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid, the elegant wave-shaped building offers a dimly lit, theatrical environment wonderfully fitting for a catwalk event. As the models emerged, the delicate sounds of dripping water transformed into gasping breaths set against a bass-heavy composition of remixed orchestral sounds. Intense lighting illuminated the swimming pool, protected with a transparent covering that allowed the models to miraculously strut on water. Splashing in their stilettos, the women were styled with soaking wet hair.
The ultra-figure-hugging looks reflect classic swimwear through their tech Lycra fabrics and their wavy cut-outs and fluid silhouettes. The striking palette is dominated by a glowing neon yellow, a deep fuchsia, and an oceanic aqua, colours popularised by bathing suit designs. Amongst super short colour-blocked cocktail dresses and more casual yet captivating looks, Koma’s eveningwear truly made waves on the catwalk. One white long-sleeved dress bears a fluid asymmetrical hemline. Revealing a simple black sports bra, its gaping cut-out is elevated with a bubblegum pink plume trim. As the model walks, the flamboyant trim bounces and floats, suggesting underwater movement. A mass of colourful plume decorates the looks, and dramatically envelops the chain shoulder straps of Koma’s new handbag design: the DK London reimagined in the vibrant colors of the collection. The designer captures the illusion of garments submerged in water with transparent sequins. A neon yellow dress with a floating plume trim sparkles as the model walks across the pool, its transparent sequin material suggesting that she is soaked to the skin.
Another legendary sports star featured on the mood board of the collection is the American track and field athlete Florence Griffith Joyner. Also known as Flo-Jo, the record-breaking sprinter is celebrated for her unique personal style. As worn by Flo-Jo, Koma incorporates unforgettable one-leg leotards into the line-up, playfully styled with a stocking accentuating the exposed leg. The abundance of silver embellishments reflects the over-the-top bejeweling of performance sportswear.
Koma is synonymous with tight-fitting statement party looks inspired by the feminine form. For his Spring-Summer offering, he introduces the glamourous aesthetic of swimwear to his unapologetically sexy silhouettes. This season, the Koma girl is ready to make a splash on the catwalk and get wavy on the dance floor.