AN ANIMALISTIC energy was present at the Dion Lee show, as models sauntered (or slithered) down the runway in clothing which had a distinct reptilian flare. The designer, recognised for his body-conscious silhouettes that merge sexuality with futurism, looked toward the natural world as inspiration for his latest collection.
It has become fairly predictable what codes Dion Lee will experiment with for his new collections. Expertly form-fitting garments, sensual cut outs and subtle hints to fetish. However, that is not to say his collection have become cyclical. For the Autumn season, Lee merges his expert post-modern aesthetic with the natural world and life cycle of reptilian animals, focusing on the shedding and recycling of their skin.
Though their are the more explicit nods to the cold-blooded creatures Lee cites as major inspiration for his latest collection, the more subtle references are what make his pieces such a standout. Daring angular cutouts mirror the pattern of snakeskin, while translucent, oversized puffer jackets are reflective of the scaly skin that is shed by snakes.
These motifs are echoed continually, with reptilian denim, peeling leather, and snakeskin dyed shibori. Boned corsetry and and peeling rubber wetsuits also hint to the skin and skeletal makeup of the creatures in ways which are not as black and white as so often interpreted in the mainstream.
The clothing design masters the brief expertly, but what truly elevates the collection to a whole new level are the details. Though the thigh high boots and diamond eyelet belts are accessories transferrable to many different aesthetics, the interlocking scale hardware embellishments add a true element of collectability and brand the collection as its own entity, a concealed treat for Dion Lee lovers.
by Ben Sanderson