“Since it’s the first time showing here, I think it’s important to show the essence of my work”. That’s what Croatian fashion designer Damir Doma stated before showing his eponymous label’s spring/summer 2016 collection at Milan Fashion Week, in a raw garage space in central Milan. And ‘raw’ wasn’t apparently just the location: as the first pieces of the line-up were shining under the spotlights, everyone immediately understood that Doma’s first chapter of Milan Fashion Week was not definitely going to be your average collection. Subverting the major trends, Doma’s ideal woman is nothing but avant-gardist, and embraces her beauty in some of the more simple, yet unconventional, ways.
Doma’s style is indeed famous for being oversized and asymmetrical, with strong influences both from the eastern world and the western one. He also likes to play with genders, creating line-ups that are not entirely feminine, nor overly masculine. We may define his style as post-gender, avant-garde, as well as slightly part of the deconstructivist movement. This is exactly what the Damir Doma spring/summer 2016 collection conveys staying true to the DNA of the brand.
Although being relatively young (he was born in 1981), Doma has already had a great experience with menswear fashion, and is currently trying to cut a swath in the Milanese fashion industry. His spring line-up is chromatically divided into three major colors, namely white, grey and black, which give the viewers and admirers a pleasing and satisfying sight. Layered assemblages, along with the accurate choice of fabrics, give each piece a mystical depth, enhanced with the many oversized kimono jackets and softly squared origami silhouettes. This layering of monochromatic pieces represents Doma’s hallmark, and is taken to its best already within the first pieces of the collection, with some sophisticated draped t-shirts and tied-over-one-hip shirts. Tube skirts and tubular silhouettes create a great contrast with the mentioned oversized skirts and blouses, which are often adorned with delicate flowery embroideries and patchwork patterns.
See-through fabrics embellishments, along with deep V-necklines (which may remind some of you of Doma’s menswear collections), create a new idea of sensuality, with the pure fluid lines and raw fabrics. Also Doma’s preference for contrasting shapes and volumes represents an alternative and unconventional way to show off femininity, here enhanced in its more paradoxical and astonishing way.
Doma’s idea of producing a more intellectual type of fashion, which uses the visual to communicate ideas and ideals that question the nature of society, (in his case also) genders and fashion itself, shows us the actual importance of supporting all those conceptual fashion designers that sometimes struggle to get their well-deserved recognition. Doma’s spring 2016 collection may not please everyone, but it’s undoubtedly a good, well-designed and sophisticated alternative to mainstream fashion.
Photos courtesy of Vogue