Croatian born, and now Milan-based, Damir Doma’s journey is an ever-expanding one. The designer talked backstage of the joy of letting go. This letting go, of thinking about items, sections, and checklists, saw this collection ironically expand into a multitude of exciting categories. They didn’t even feel like categories – just stuff we really wanted. An authenticity of sorts saw this collection contain items that didn’t look newly designed as product but rather a collector’s mélange of pieces that you might have worn forever. Speaking backstage, Doma said, 'The role of the designer is changing. I don’t want to send out thirty soldiers from another planet. I don’t think fashion should be artificial. It should be relatable.' The designer’s favourite piece was a white shirt dress worn with leather sneakers, saying, 'We covered some of the sole with a terracotta veneer, so to look like she had literally walked in somewhere from a place with red sand.'
Criss-cross latticed shirts worn with mottled, printed slippers were followed by a latticed bomber jacket and then one rendered in purple velvet. Papery shirting, optical striped prints and a neat sideways fastening on dresses saw the collection hold a graphic and clean line that felt no less artsy for it. Such things as textural flyaway tassels - and the cut and weight of the wide-legged pants - took care of that. That, and the knowledge that this is a considered designer who takes all steps with deep consideration. Seeing him respect and articulate his minimalist beginnings holds the provenance and integrity within which he – and his teachers - sit. A rust orange sweater was worn with cropped purple pants (inspired by a recent trip to Fez), which looked like they had walked off the fields of a festival beyond time and space. Eastern exotic, like a contemporary George Harrison look, yet vintage and West Coast, these pieces looked like clothes owned by the wearer – rather than clothes that were being merchandised via a model. The street casting no doubt helped to lend this show a real feeling of authenticity. Exacting, wearable – and created organically through time, a new addition to this journey is a fantastic collaboration with sportswear label Lotto. In the hands of Damir Doma, the logo was recreated as a repeat pattern that ran across pants as if it was an Ikat print.
Collections really come to life when they are created with joie de vivre. Understandably energetic and upbeat after such a show, Doma declared with a smile on his face, 'I had this idea of once I’d come out onto the runway, of just carrying on running until I was outside – but there were too many people in the way, so I couldn’t!'