Runway Review: Dion Lee FW14/15

Australia’s hottest export in fashion terms is Dion Lee. The soundtrack to his show, ‘Destroyer’—by Australian band Panama, was the perfect metaphor for the collection. The song begins like this: "God, I wish you could be here/You have to be near, you have to believe.” I wish everyone remotely interested in fashion had been there and been near, for they would certainly believe. Lee managed to cram in crocodile, snake, cowboy boots and hats, chalk stripe wool and harnesses, digital prints, art deco embellishment and pleats—but, just as the subsequent lyrics of the song go (“God, I want this to be real/It has to be clear, it has to be right”), he distilled that vast spectrum of ideas into a poetic purity and restraint that was absolutely real, clear and right.

Cowboy boots were cropped at the ankle—clean and black—with graphic chrome toe caps. The chalk stripe wool was supple dove grey men’s suiting wool, pared back into quiet voluminous tailoring. Snakeskin was worked into a tight cocktail dress with a cutaway bodice, but it was the polar opposite of gaudy. Shimmering silver beading danced its way in and around pleated silk dresses, but in a way that made embellishment feel new and stark.

Picasso once said, “Every act of creation is first an act of destruction." Lee cleverly destroyed any prior association to those mad themes and contents in the collection, and created a body of work that feels resolutely fresh, without being radical or needing to shout from the rooftops.

Photography by Koury Angelo and Andrew Boyle

Follow Mary Fellowes on Twitter @maryfellowes

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