Sun, hail, rain, shine; these monosyllabic, almost onomatopoeic terms reflect the perfect sleekness of the styles played out in Dion Lee’s latest collection ‘Four Seasons’. The accolades continue to pour down upon Lee, in the eye of the media storm surrounding the release of the lookbook for the collection.
Lee’s latest output is especially enticing for both sentimental and practical reasons, in view of the perpetual (and Elliott-Smith-evocative) “four seasons in one day” native to the Melbourne weather pattern. Melbournians must learn to be adaptable, and Dion Lee’s take on the four seasons is just that, tackling sports-luxe looks that seem to have variations – worn tightly fitted, softly draped, or under pants – alongside futuristic blazer ensembles, and splashing wet-look pleather alongside silk georgette.
Lee’s signature style is clear, with strong structural and digital print elements, as well as a thoughtful use of texture throughout. Patent leather jackets give way to boxy shift dresses in charcoal, and royal blue sateen sports luxe ensembles are matched with sharp blazers and harem pants or assymetrically draped and folded skirts. Draped mesh backless tops and harem pants add a soft accent to the sharp construction and tailoring of structured pieces, while braided detailing and envelope-like construction create an aesthetic that is both soft and sharp, sci fi and whimsical.
Lee’s clean but complex silhouettes are perfected by textural linear and criss-cross gradients in hues of neon yellow, coral and blue, and give way to bolder snapdragon silhouettes, which see long-neck tops paired with futuristic jodhpurs – blow-fly-esque in shiny pleather and royal blue.
Criss-cross detailing is seen throughout the collection, from a subtle crossed halter underneath a blazer suit, to more epic braided halter pieces and Queen Amidala-like gowns with bold detailing.
Monochrome is employed in fitted dresses with bold graphic patterns, and solid navy pieces are fitted with black leather detailing, in suits and tunic dresses.
Then there are the prints. The organic mating of a fractured lilac sheen and botanic-mash is split and interwoven to spawn a scaly lilac and sci-fi forestry, which clashes across structured frocks, and oceanic tropicana meets a fiery tundra over the breast of simple sheathes, offset by solid, sensible navy and grey marle.
Three words encompass the Lee aesthetic: structure, polish and character. This latest collection also showcases the designer’s eclecticism and ultimate pizzazz – able to cater to all four seasons in one cohesive line, that snaps its fingers at the potential Southern Hemisphere design-handicap of always being one season behind.