Code8 x David Koma AW19 The New Elizabethan Age

March 11, 2020

Code8 x David Koma AW19: The New Elizabethan Age

When we think of David Koma, we typically think of modern, sexy, dynamic designs. After all, the man dresses JLo. And yet, for Autumn/Winter '19, Koma presented a collection inspired by none other than Shakespeare as attendees watched on at St George’s Church in Bloomsbury.


As we were to find out from the show notes, the designer’s Shoreditch HQ is near the site of a theatre where Shakespeare got his start at the end of the 16th century. But the influence was fairly covert: rather than draw direct influence from the playwright’s heroines, Koma looked directly to the drama and flamboyance of Elizabethan dress. The London-based designer took a healthy pinch of the grandeur of this Shakespearean era and fused it into his modernist universe.


To create the perfect beauty looks to bring the AW19 collection to life, make-up artist Andrew Gallimore used Code8 Beauty. Andrew’s bold and artful style has earned him editorials in Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, and V magazine, and has allowed him to work with photographers that include David Bailey to Rankin. More than anything, Andrew believes in visual impact. “If you can’t be heard, be seen”, he once told Dazed Digital. We were excited to see what he would do.


In line with being theatrical, pieces were detailed butterflies and snakes made out of silver thread, tight minidresses were embroidered with bugle beads, and the popular Edwardian hatch pattern was reimagined in a rounded minidress. There was bold daywear too. Shearling-trimmed sweaters looked especially cosy as did outerwear with oversized shearling hoods and sleeves. Two show-stopping corseted black dresses were made of a patent-treated bouclé so as to be armour-like on the exterior yet soft on the interior.


Andrew decided to complement the darkly glamorous Shakespearean mood of the collection with a ‘just woke up’ shadow around the eyes using Contour Eye Pencil in Classic Black, our Lash Sophisticate Mascara and Colour Brilliance Eyestick in Dark Dreams. For skin, he used Code8 Radiate Beauty Balm for a perfectly luminous skin base, Seamless Cover Concealer and Matte Velour Powder for full coverage. Dark bold lips were featured on some models with a custom-made shade named Serpent, while some looks went with a nude lip to balance out the strong lids. To do a lip, or not to do a lip, seemed to be the question. As long as there’s a dark eye, come autumn, the choice will be yours.