Australian rising star Dion Lee loves contrasts. For this collection he blurred seasonal codes, with a heavy dose of black and leather--and luminous tones of neon pink, orange and yellow, futuristic whites and iridescent blues. “I mixed summer and winter fabrications,” said the designer backstage, “and then it was all about breaking the shapes down--there was a real consciousness of the body and a work on proportions, with bare upper bodies and covered lower bodies. We also worked with fabric manipulations and experimentations.”
Lee worked in his signature architectural style, crafting patent leather ribbons on a suit jacket or a pencil skirt, building bustiers that contoured and revealed the body, and creating sleek silhouettes with sculptural Gehry-esque panels and thick elastic bands. The bustiers were truly remarkable: they came in chiffon, leather or neoprene, in rigid shapes that hinted to Gaultier or soft ribbons that recalled Grecian drapings. They sometimes clashed with pleated skirts and sheer tulle. Lee is clearly talented at developing fabrics and shaping a vision of his own, but his fits and finishes needed to be improved, and some looks--especially the all-black silhouettes--gave us a feeling of déjà vu. We’re placing Lee, 27, on our list of designers to watch closely in the seasons to come.