'Lightness'. That was Damir Doma's summary of his spring 2012 collection; plain, simple and to the point. Just like his collection, in fact - but strike the plain and simple and replace with pure and uncomplicated. There were certainly nothing simple about this collection, and about the way Doma brought a lightness and delicacy to his often dark and sometimes uncompromising clothing.
The lightness came two-fold. First there were the fabrics, delicate lace crafted into shorts, fluttering panes of chiffon dropping from the hems of shorter skirts, silk-crepe twisted into flawless sheath-dresses or jumpsuits, and billowing into a stand-out black leather-banded cape. That's the conventional way of lightening a show: but imagine extending that fluidity to kangaroo leather, washed to within an inch of its life to approximate silk. That was something quite extraordinary.
The other thing Doma chose to lighten was his colour palette - and that proved extraordinary too. Doma's toyed with colour before - his first womenswear show was awash in saffron, and just last season he hinted at his sensitivity, mixing burnt umber with his trademark black - but never with such aplomb. He reinvented monochrome: instead of black, there was rich navy and teal; instead of white, a mustard-gold shimmering like a desert mirage. That sounds like heavy-handed poetic license, but there was a desert feel to these clothes, the nobility of the Tuareg or Berbers evoked in the domed lined of an ivory coat or the short jackets adorned with hammered brass paillettes.
Those paillettes were part of something heavier Doma played with, mixing metal pieces and hefty gold chokers into the collection, adorned with lumps of raw minerals - pyrite and rubin agate. The best twisted the jewel and the gown together, a rich teal column-dress coiling along the body and wrapped up around a copper choker. Forget nobility and virtue, that was about drop-dead, red carpet glamour - but done with heart and soul. That's something every woman can get into, both mentally and physically.