Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Désir du jour - Dion Lee

Emma Watson in Lee's
Rorschach print dress
Since graduating from the Sydney Institute of Technology in 2007, Australian designer Dion Lee has not put a foot wrong. Regarded by many as the future of Australian fashion, Lee is one designer consistently pushing the boundaries of design.  Once described by Editor of Vogue Australia Kirstie Clements as "saving fashion week", Lee's deconstructed tailoring and evolving designs means that although still early on in his career, each of his collections has been very strong. Favouring bold graphics, bright colours and striking silhouettes, Lee has caught the eye of the international fashion scene. Celebrities such as Emma Watson have been spotted in his unique designs, and his global profile continues to grow. He is one of the few Australian designers to be stocked on Net-A-Porter.

In 2010, Lee won the L'Oreal Fashion Festival Designer Award and the fashion division of the QANTAS spirit of Youth Awards. Up until early 2010, he was the only person working on his brand, having to not only design his garments, but run the business too. Lee admitted that "One of the biggest challenges for [him] has been starting a business in a very reactive way without any training or experience...the same can be said for production experience." Unfortunately this is an all too familiar tale for up-and-coming designers today, an issue will be covered in the coming week on the blog.

Felt moulded dress from Lee's
collaboration with Cue
Lee just recently launched a collaboration with Australian chain store Cue. Maintaining his trademark cutouts and unique tailoring, Lee has designed several seasonal capsule collections which are to drop in Cue stores between March to May 2011.

Each capsule focuses on a different material.  The collection which hit stores in May focused on canvas and utility details. The second capsule range which was just release in stores a fortnight ago, focuses on the use of felt.  The range to be released in May will be centered around leather, with a bold injection of colour.

With Lee not well know to many outside serious fashion followers, his collaboration with Cue has ensured he has introduced his brand to a whole new audience.  He believes this collection with Cue will be in addition to his main line, and not hinder its appeal.

Lee has just released his AW11 collection which is filled with beautiful pieces. I really liked the Pleated Tulle Ballerina Dress which I felt was something unexpected from Lee. Usually his designs feature bold colours and strong silhouettes. I liked the fact this dress was soft, yet still featured typical elements of Lee's designs such as a raw hem, exposed zip and detailed panelling through the front and back. The design was reminiscent of his 2010/11 collection which featured soft colours and grecian style draping.

Available on MyCatwalk for $1,690, this versatile dress can be worn casually with flats, or dressed up with light coloured heels, or a black blazer and dark pumps.

In a time when Australian fashion is suffering, Lee is going against the trend, not only being recognised for his abilities in Australia, but is heralded as part of
"fashion's Next Generation" internationally. Although there's a lot of pressure on the 24 year old's shoulders, he has already shown he has the talent to have a long and succesful career in the fashion world.

Information sourced from http://grazia.ninemsn.com.au/blog.aspx?blogentryid=738486&showcomments=true and http://www.streeteditors.com/2010/09/02/dion-lee-2/
Images from http://www.dionlee.cue.cc, http://www.mycatwalk.com.au/designer/dion-lee/designer-dresses/pleated-tulle-ballerina-dress+dion*lee.lmff.1.html and http://www.fanpop.com/spots/emma-watson/picks/results/607048/emma-watson-2010-stylish-year-review-choose-favourite-look

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