Mercedez-Benz Fashion Week 2017: Homage to Dion Lee
The reasons Dion Lee has become one of our most loved Australian fashion designers
“The Dion Lee aesthetic is the combination of opposing elements;
Technical but sensual.
Sculptural and fluid.
Complex and minimal.”
Even though the Mercedez-Benz Fashion Week has drawn to a close for another year, we couldn’t help but revisit the iconic Australian designer that launched this year’s most important week in fashion; Dion Lee.
Who is Dion Lee?
Who better to open the MBFWA than our very own homegrown hero and Sydney designer, Dion Lee. You’ve undoubtedly heard of the label but who exactly is the man behind the label? Let's recap. Lee established himself as a fashion disruptor, innovator and acclaimed designer at the youthful age of 24. Lee launched his first collection at Australian Fashion Week in 2009 at the Sydney Opera House. His debut runway collection caught the eyes of domestic and international retailers instantly. By 2012, Lee was a permanent fixture on the international runway set, receiving huge acclaim at London Fashion Week in both 2012 and 2013. The label quickly received the highest accolades from domestic and international publications such as Vogue, Elle, Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire and more. Now 31, Lee has relocated to New York, which has become a second base for the label over the last couple of years. But no matter the distance, Lee continues to stay true to his uniquely Australian aesthetic.
The Dion Lee aesthetic
What we admire most about Lee is his ability to cast Australian fashion into a new, contemporary mould. Lee’s core values revolve around traditional tailoring with a consciousness of the body beneath. Drawing on inspiration from the Australian lifestyle, sportswear, swimwear and surf; profiles appear cut away, sculpted and with structured silhouettes. In the nine years since graduating from Sydney's University of Technology, the Dion Lee label is now sold globally in over 60 of the world’s most exclusive retailers and is home to six Australian flagship stores. Lee’s modern, architectural, sensual and innovative designs are why commercial retailers and shoppers like you and me, keep coming back for more. Sophisticated yet sensory, he never fails to deliver incredible, trans-seasonal collections year on year.
The Resort 2018 Collection
Which brings us to this year’s Resort 2018 Collection. Debuting at the Sydney Opera House last Sunday, this year was Lee’s fashion version of a B&S ball. Think, deconstructed Akubra hats, R. M Williams boots, terry-toweling throw overs, oversized jackets and laminated outerwear. A colourful and creative version of Australiana high fashion indeed! The Resort 18 collection also featured trademark Dion Lee designs including laser-cut skirts and dresses in block colours of navy and white. The 2018 Resort collection was also the first time we've seen a menswear or gender-neutral collection; Lee stating the range was inspired by “identity, reflection and optimism.” Lee’s creative flair and unmistakable talent were alive at this year’s MBFWA. Rest assured we can always count on the Dion Lee team to deliver a runway that the critics and also the commercial retailers can't get enough of.
Supporting Australian business
A final note on why we love Dion Lee is his commitment to supporting Australian businesses. Dion Lee’s majority shareholder is the Cue Group. Also an iconic Australian brand, for almost 40 years Cue has committed to designing and producing their garments in Australia. Even today, design, patternmaking and sampling is all done in house in the historical Sydney clothing centre of Surry Hills. Dion Lee has also embraced this ‘made-in-Australia’ model, foregoing profits of outsourcing to China in order to support Australian businesses and have full control over the process from design to retail rack. As mentioned earlier, the surge in popularity for the label in the US prompted Lee to move to New York. However, even now, Dion Lee garments sold in the US, with the exception of knitwear, will continue to be made in Australia. This commitment to local production and supporting the Australian fashion ecosystem is just another reason why Dion Lee is one of our most-loved designers.
Over to you…
Who was your highlight from this year’s Mercedez-Benz Fashion Week Australia?
We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.