MILAN, JANUARY 17, 2016
by LUKE LEITCH
The show on platform 22—due for departure at 8:00 p.m.—was delayed by 35 minutes. That’s life come the climax of Milan menswear Sunday, the most densely packed show day in the calendar. Damir Doma had fantastically swung it to show this collection inside Milan’s central station—a magnificent building that has blessedly endured long beyond its fascist conception. Doma said: “It’s my favorite location in Milan—whenever I come here, I’m extremely impressed. We try to think out of the box and find show spaces that are not so common. But we cannot pay a lot—we are not that kind of company. So we were super-lucky that there was someone in the office here who loves the brand and opened all the gates for us.”
We were seated right on the platform, opposite a sleek red Frecciarossa 1000 express train. Over us arched the epic cathedral-like roof of steel girders. This show venue had Chanel-level impact but was obtained gratis: clever. The collection was clever too. Doma is an austere, sculptural designer, but there is warmth and consideration—even sometimes sexiness—in his clothes. His white drill openers with incised pockets that bled selvage were a meditation on proportional discord between anterior and posterior. His camel and olive coats, some waisted with a playful horizontal strip of fringe, were painstakingly shaped compressed cocoons. Subtly perforated color-flecked rib knits in gray and darkest green were stitched with ribbon down the torso. The only discordant note between venue and collection sounded when the strapped overalls came down the catwalk: They were a bit meccanico del treno.
Buttons were clustered at the center of garments, which stretched the eye’s expected perspective. The shades of gray jacquard, a print of what looked like hoofprints on the snow at midnight, and white painted daubs on black background provided the visual texture. Afterward, the audience trailed away like commuters on the last train from Fall ’16. Doma said of his venue: “It was very symbolic. Because for the last two collections we have been transitioning from Paris—we were changing staff and ateliers—and this is the first one that feels like it was completely done in Milan. I feel I have arrived.”