Dion Lee is certainly having a moment. The Australian designer, who has maintained a formidable foothold in the Australian fashion industry for some ten years now, has suddenly and swiftly captured the gaze of Hollywood since his relocation to New York City last year, with his recent work resonating in the highest of celebrity circles, too. Off the back of that corset, Lee’s forthcoming Spring 2020 collection (which debuted in September) has found a famous fan in the form of Dua Lipa.
Attending the 2019 MTV EMAs in Seville, Spain last night, the singer arrived on the red carpet in a risqué look by Lee, wearing his Waist Harness fastened over the Knit Hoisery Garter Mini Dress and Interlock Skirt (the collection is not yet available although waitlists are in place). With a subtle sadomasochist bent, the outfit offered an elevated take on fetishwear, tapping both fashion’s fixation with deshabille dressing and Hollywood’s love of the harness.
First birthed on the Golden Globes red carpet by Timothée Chalamet earlier in the year (in that spectacular sequinned Louis Vuitton version), the harness has since been spotted on Michael B. Jordan and Travis Scott, fast-becoming a fashion staple for stylish men alike. But with fashion losing its gendered shackles, last night Lipa made a strong case for the harness on the female form, too.
Subverting traditional notions of femininity by playing on objects of fetishwear – leather harnesses, garters and suspender belts – the harness Lipa is wearing is in fact the product of a collaboration with Fleet Ilya, the London-based leather atelier famous for their subversive yet sublimely-crafted leather fantasy.
Embracing fashion’s increasing fetish for fetishwear, Lee’s knack of alleviating the sleazy and tempering it with a sophisticated sensibility is a design coup worth celebrating. Just as delightful in person as he is talented (GRAZIA caught up with the designer just last week to discuss his collaboration with G.H. Mumm), his recent success couldn’t be more befitting. Here’s to harnesses and a little kink.