Damir Doma showed his Spring collection without models. Well, there were seven young model-slash-artists who appeared in a six-minute non-narrative video (directed by Carlotta Manaigo and Frode Fjerdingstad). But for all intents and purposes, his presentation was deliberately inanimate, with twelve mannequins staged in front of an undulating backlit screen, like an art installation where touching was encouraged. Earlier in the day, Doma had emphasized how he believes in creating content around his collections; in addition to the video, he produced an ambitious newsletter—more like a published mood board—to better convey his inspirations and artistic image. Midway through was a page of coupled words, like symmetry askew,unplanned pattern, and everyday rearranged. Usually this type of conceptual trend-speak does little to explain how a garment comes to be, but here each idea nicely captured different facets of the designer's thoughtful and deceptively detailed collection. You would never guess, for instance, that the recurring spotted pattern originated from the speckling on an orchid's petals. To see Doma propose a floral print is to realize how far he has come from his dark beginnings.
Textural lightness was just as surprising; irregular perforations in a crisp shirt were the result of laser cutting in a way that echoed Jackson Pollock's drip paintings. And there was something effortlessly pleasing about a gauzy gray funnel-neck layer that enriched a basic white T-shirt. Equally impressive was the reimagined waistcoat in an ivory jacquard fil coupe with polished magnetic closures. Utility and function often bolstered Doma's designs, whether dimensional pockets on tapered trousers and shorts or width-adjusting Velcro straps along the back hemline of each leg. Georgia O'Keeffe, Lee Miller, and Lincoln Kirstein showed up on T-shirts, their faces abstracted. But Doma's intention was neither art statement nor fashion statement; that the experience challenged norms was statement aplenty.