David Koma can cut. Really cut. He's cut just about the perfect dress, fitted in bodice and pencil in skirt, seamed to make the best of the figure and with just the right amount of give to ensure you don't have a geisha hobble. There's an argument that if it ain't broke, don't fix it. If Koma has the perfect formula for his dress, why would he change a damn thing?
Koma didn't seem to in his Autumn/Winter 2012 collection, where after a few concerted stabs at separates and a flurry of terribly good belted fur coats, he reverted back to type, or rather tight. Those tight little dresses - across which there was something about sixties couture, twenties art deco and a stylised greyhound motif that resembled a car hood ornament from Bugsy Malone. There were also some metallic giant eyelets inset into the dresses either as decorative devices to outline a waist or hem, say, or as functional fastenings. Well, kind of: Koma used them to knot swathes of coloured silk around the body, creating odd peplum effects at the hip, fashion's favourite point of expansion - besides China.
Koma does a roaring trade in showpieces in the Far East, incidentally, where women love his extreme and out-there items regardless of the price. The trouble with this collection was twofold. Those showpieces seemed to overshadow the saleable, commercial and overall more inventive items in the collection, the spectrum-printed slender silk trousers for example, or all those fantastic coats. The dresses were the take-away, and the fact that the ideas seemed tacked onto them, Koma tinkering with surface rather than getting into the nitty-gritty of reconsidering female clothing and offering something new. Better editing would serve him well: this show could have been cut by a third, and had twice as much impact. That's what fashion's all about you see: cut, cut, cut.