Fashion Week In The Life Of David Koma! How The Designer Prepares For His London Show

14 September 2013 by

David Koma at London Fashion Week [Jason Lloyd Evans]

Today Central Saint Martins boy David Koma is set to dominate day two with his scultural shapes and futuristic materials. He is one of the strongest designers on the London schedule; we mean this literally as he has a thing for fierce silhouettes. He might have the fash pack on the edge of their front row seats, but he is also building up a Hollywood following as he has dressed Jennifer Lawrence and created the costume for Beyonce's latest tour. In the run up to his London show we grilled the designer about what Fashion Week is really like for him...

1. When do you start working on your next collection? 

David: 'It depends on the season. Sometimes I already have a few ideas and as soon as I finish my previous collection I start to experiment. When I finish a show we have a month and a half of holiday and then when I come back if my ideas are still strong enough we keep building on them.'

2. When do you aim to have the collection finished by?

David: 'If it’s two or three days before the show that’s ideal. But the more you do, the more you get inspired. Once everyone was leaving the studio to go to the venue and I decided I wanted to change one dress. So we had to cut and stitch a completely new look. The show was already in rehearsal and models were almost ready and we arrived with the new dress like ‘ta-da’!'

3. When did you decide on your final idea for this collection?

David: 'We started four months ago because of the different techniques and fabrics we use. We need time to order special materials. A few seasons ago a couple of weeks before the show I wanted to change a lot and the whole team was working day and night to get it done. Thankfully it all happened. But this season we are all really disciplined and hopefully, if nothing happens to my mind, we are going to be done without too many sleepless nights.'

David Koma at London Fashion Week [Jason Lloyd Evans]

4. When do you start creating the pieces after you come up with the concept?

David: 'As soon as I have a concept we start making things happen to see how much we like them. I love working with real things. I love taking pictures of the designs I do on my HTC because when you take pictures the fabrics and colours look completely different. Most people are going to view collections through computers and phones. I never confirm a design until I like how it looks on screen.'

5. How involved are you in choosing the hair and make-up?

David: 'Usually I have my ideas that I’d like to do and then the hair and make-up team will do their own tests without me. I don’t want to spoil their ideas. If it’s better than what I had in mind we stay with that, but if not we’ll add more to it or change it completely.'

6. How does casting work?

David: 'All of my designs are about structure so the body is really important to me. Usually I control the bodies whilst the casting director looks for the faces. My models need attitude, good posture and confidence in their own body. I will see the models three days before the show, or sometimes two days or even a couple of hours.'

7. Are you involved in choosing the soundtrack?

David: 'Yes! I'm working with the musician James B Stringer for the third season. He comes to the studio three weeks before the show and we show him the concept. We do music in a similar way that we do the collection and line up, as we stick his references to a mood board. When the concept is finalised he tailors the soundtrack to the line up, according to the way the colour changes. He works on it to the very last minute because if there is a change in the positioning of the girls, he has to alter the music.'

david koma, celebrities, red carpet, beyonce, taylor swift, jennifer lawrence

Stars wearing David Koma [Rex, Getty and Beyonce Tumblr]

8. What do you do during the show?

David: 'Usually I’m backstage and don’t see the front of house. I’m with my team and the dressers doing the final touches to make the girls look fabulous on the catwalk. Then I’m checking their hair and makeup and preparing everything backstage. I only come out when I see rehearsal and at the end of the show!'

9. Do you feel nervous when you’re backstage?

David: 'I get nervous when the paparazzi arrive or things aren’t finished and I think ‘oh it’s not going to be as good as I thought.’ But as soon as it’s ready I don’t feel nervous; I feel confident and happy.'

10. How quickly is the turn around between the show and the collection appearing on the red carpet?

David: 'If it’s a beautiful collection you have immediate reaction from the stylists and celebrities and then it depends who’s requesting the items and when. Obviously your priority is the show and the sales. If the right girls are showing their support, we try and get it there as soon as possible.'

Take your front row seat with Grazia Daily at 3pm to see David Koma's latest collection hit Somerset House.

David Koma has partnered with HTC to create a special edition HTC One mini, with two unique designs reflecting the evolution between his past and future collections. The limited run of 10 handsets is available exclusively through a Twitter competition, where you can submit your own design inspired by David’s work to be in with a chance of winning one. Follow @htc_uk with the hashtag #HTCKoma to find out more and enter the competition.



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