Earnest is not a word thrown around often in fashion conversations. It stood out when Damir Doma called it his goal for the season. "We live in a moment when fashion is borderline entertainment," he said. "I wanted to do an earnest and very direct collection. Things I want to wear, and you want to wear."
Over the course of almost three weeks of shows in Europe, it's startling how rare that sentiment turns out to be. Doma himself has in the past given it a fairly wide berth: He's displayed a durable interest in experimentation and boundary breaking, which has often made his runways seem like dry runs for those parodies of real life seen on magazine pages. Today, by contrast, he said, "There are no tricks with styling."
That sounds like fighting talk, but it doesn't need to be. Commercial viability and artistic integrity aren't mutually exclusive. Here, they fitted nicely hand in hand. This may have been Doma's straightest collection to date—less charmed by its own curiosity. The tweaks were on a subtler register, principally relating to the elevation of texture. The pieces had the pragmatic appeal of workwear done Doma style, in jacquard fil coupe and alpaca, trailing wispy hairs like abstract animal prints. The closest thing to a gimmick was the sleeve detail, with contrasting fabric creeping up the arm past the elbow. Viewed from the comfortable distance of a runway audience—one that seemed shorter than in seasons past—they gave the look of a pair of long gloves. Call them an earnest signal of Doma's new willingness to get his hands dirty.