Dion Lee is a true tailor. A refined, skilled designer whose collections, year after year, reward us with thoughtful, structural masterpieces. Lee is not a deviated stylist, nor did he fall into his profession via any outside avenue, he’s a skilled artisan who cut his teeth pattern making and constructing original garments by hand. He’s also Australian and now one of our most successful fashion exports.
Moving the majority of his business, including himself, to New York in 2016, Lee’s eponymous label is now a firm figure of New York Fashion Week. Last year, Lee injected delicate underwear into his staple range of ready-to-wear, an addition to the shoes and handbags he had begun sampling the year before. With Cue Clothing Company now as a long-standing stakeholder, its pleasing to see Lee’s label taking expansion in its stride.
Today’s autumn winter ‘19 show continued his wizardry in sophisticated minimalism. His lingerie, this time, was revealed by way of boned corsetry and camisole lace while outer garments, in accents of camel, black, white, grey and pops of chartreuse bore the clever, innovative structure we’ve come to expect from a Dion Lee season. Cut-outs and calculated slashes on blazers and asymmetrical stretch-dresses returned while the introduction of shoulder-covering shrugs on turtlenecks and mohair knits was particularly inspired. The most wearable item of the collection is undoubtedly Lee’s slouched, easy trousers that featured heavily throughout. Their pocketed oversize made them the perfect companion to the sheer, boned and sometimes feathered skivvies.
For the Dion Lee devotee, of which there are many, there is plenty to add to cart from this collection. Liquid draped skirts fastened to structured knitwear made for dresses we’re sure to see editorialised before too long. Square-cut pinstriped suits were as compelling as his brushed wool, sculpted pea coats for the coming cold season. The collection included copious choices in high-fashion work wear as well as evening-wear (not limited to feathered coats, lace pleated skirts and slinky halter dresses) suitable for any crafty minimalist on a night out.
Lee’s conscientious approach to innovative design and quality season after season (rewarded by winning the Fashion Laureate in 2017 and the Australian final of the International Woolmark Prize in 2012) is reaping its deserved kudos through promising business growth, a beautiful new collection and a rapidly expanding fan-base worldwide.