Dion Lee Spring Summer 2013 Review

Australian based designer Dion Lee’s star is slowly on the rise. From the get-go he’s drawn attention from editors for his remarkably cut, beautifully constructed and most importantly, original clothes-a feat for an Australian designer. I say it’s a feat because unfortunately I see a lot of Australian fashion ripped directly from the European runways and then these designers have the gall to pass it off as their own. I think these lazy aussie designers are quite grateful that they’re a season behind in the southern hemisphere as it gives them a lot of time to go on international buying trips and directly copy best selling items from reputable houses. Just to wrap this segue up the thing that probably gets to me the most is that many Australian designers have been doing this for so long that they actually believe that this is what fashion is and how it should be done. They’re nothing more than Zara with a higher price tag. But not all Australian designers are thieves  and Dion Lee along with designers such as Romance Was Born or shoe designer Phong Chi Lai are leading the way.
For spring Lee picked up on the transparency trend and started things out with some sharp dresses and pants with sheer inserts in white. This was contrasted with shots of bright orange and there was a beautifully minimal leather biker jacket.  Lee is a fabric geek and had shiny soundwave looking lines printed on dresses however this is where things got too tricky and he lost his way. Editorially some of these pieces will blow you away and will definitely appear in print but the looping and twisting became so intense that on some pieces it looked tortured. It was the restrained pieces that looked modern and easy to wear that will have legs and I think he shouldn’t be so afraid of control and simplicity. Many young designers in London this season are really being quite blunt with their collections that it’s like an air horn being blasted in your face. I think it’s takes true confidence to do away with bells and whistles and find a balance between artistic flourish and commercial viability. Dion Lee has shown us that he can meld the two effortlessly but I think he will be more successful when he learns to edit. 


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