Melbourne Spring Fashion Week is about to begin, transforming the city into a celebration of all things fashion, and this year, Dion Lee and The Emporium have a special treat. On August 26, a curated selection of pieces shown at his New York Fall 16 runway will be exhibited to mark the beginning of the week’s festivities, giving lovers of his work an up close look at the pieces (some of which are runway exclusives). We spoke to him ahead of the exhibition about the collection, his inspirations behind it, and the art of invention.
You’ll be showcasing key pieces from your Fall 16 New York presentation to celebrate The Emporium and MSFW – how did this come about?
It’s a great opportunity to showcase looks from our Fall 16 New York runway at MSFW to animate the collection and inspire our customers. Some of the pieces were never produced for retail so it’s wonderful to be able to present these in Melbourne to a new audience.
What was the deciding factor to choose the pieces that are being shown? Were they personal favourites?
Each look that is being showcased represents a different story from the collection. It was particularly important for us to present looks that we feel our Melbourne clients would appreciate and relate to.
You’re renowned for applying your innovative techniques and clean tailoring to wardrobe staples – how do you go about reinventing these?
There is a strong tailoring element to all of our collections and I’ve always been interested in experimenting with the construction and deconstruction of garments. Our Fall 16 collection features sculptural silhouettes and classic shapes that have been reinvented with the brand’s signature aesthetic.
Was there an overarching theme you had in mind for this collection?
The central idea of the collection was ‘art balancing utility’ which inspired functional shapes partnered with decorative embellishment in the form of Swarovski crystals and a rare baked sequin fabric. I referenced artist Otto Piene’s light based artworks to explore different techniques and ideas for actualising this concept.
How do you view the woman who will wear these pieces?
The Dion Lee woman evolves from season to season and for Fall 16 I would say she’s edgier and bolder. I think the collection highlights different facets of style, combining embellishment with tailored shapes and masculine details.
The pieces will be on display from August 26 at The Emporium, 287 Lonsdale St, Melbourne CBD.