Damir Doma’s women’s line, introduced for Fall 2010, has steadily been playing catch up with its older brother. The designer’s fresh Resort 2014 presentation on Wednesday night, as women’s wear guest designer of Pitti W, helped close the gap. The event was held in the gardens of Florence’s Palazzo Corsini at sundown, against a backdrop of orange and lemon trees.
The collection shared subtle family resemblances, especially the opening bias-cut sleeveless long silk dress that evoked Doma’s monastic robes, only with a more contemporary graphic vibe. It was constructed from two diagonal cuts of fabric, the upper half in a black, gray and white check and the skirt in a shade of rich purple edged with a mauve band. He quickly cleansed the palette though, sending out a run of clinical white cotton spins, pairing clean, structured Asian jackets with bias cut skirts, for instance, or high waist pants with athletic tops.
Doma, who was born in Croatia, raised in Germany, and has been based in Paris for the past few years, flirted with French chic. A full black cotton pleated skirt with a paper bag waist with raffia threading details had a classic elegance, paired with a fitted black buttoned up shirt with cut-outs at the shoulder, offering a reserved sensuality.
But one of his designer heroes - Giorgio Armani - hogged the spotlight in terms of references, with Doma openly riffing on 80s' Emporio Armani codes (gray stripes, athleticism, bright orange…). A mood board magazine handed out to guests featured graphic images from the Italian label’s iconic magazines.
It made for a lighter, sportier direction, though the colored shantung silks and certain white cotton looks, such as the skirts with longer side panels and deep patch pockets, felt a tad familiar. Box tickers included an oversized T-shirt top in a waxy nylon material resembling rice paper and covered in what looked like tiny black grains; a fitted black cotton sweatshirt with pockets and cutouts at the shoulder, and a wide-sleeved dress in striped sheer gazar worn over a neon orange swimsuit. With the stifling Florentine heat wave that has accompanied visitors to Pitti, they breathed cool.
The collection was the first to be produced under Italy's Zamasport Group, a partnership, Doma said in a press conference earlier in the day, which has raised the quality of his collections and allowed him to be more detail oriented. His growing confidence could be felt.
Doma, at 32, has already built one of the most solid young Paris-based brands, with its own unique universe, that he co-owns with Paper Rain. And with a Paris flagship in place, a cult following for his menswear line, and a steadily more commercial women’s line - in the best sense of the term - Doma is on a roll.
- Katya Foreman