To those who may have been wondering whether Dion Lee was going to be able to pull off a second blockbuster collection fresh out of design school – in his case, the seminal NSW TAFE, this country’s equivalent to London's Central Saint Martins – the answer was delivered yesterday morning at approximately 9.30am. Yes, he did. Set against arguably the most iconic of Australian backdrops, Sydney Harbour, by way of the northern foyer of one of the world’s most beautiful buildings, the Sydney Opera House, the twenty-four year-old Sydneysider mesmerised his audience with a small, but perfectly formed collection entitled Façade.
It began with a dose of the complex, razor-cut, yet deconstructed, tailoring with which Lee has quickly established his name. The collection quickly moved into a series of bodycon microdresses with a honeycomb effect, created by the layering of synthetic mesh. These segued into yet more microdresses, this time in a sheer stretch georgette, splattered with a striking, ultraviolet Rorscharch inkblot effect print.
If asked by a fashion shrink what you saw in the patterns, you might well say Josh Goot and Michael Angel, coincidentally, two other Australians. Unlike Lee, Goot and Angel are both self-taught. They have nevertheless been at the vanguard of the recent digital print power trend. In Goot’s case, as far back as his Spring/Summer 2008 collection presented at New York Fashion Week.
Lee closed with a breathtakingly beautiful series of draped crepe microdresses in soft duck egg blue and taupe. Their skirts consisted of layered micropleated panels, with the bodices crafted from soft ropes of the same fabric, meticulously draped, knotted and interlaced.
The "drapé" was effectively trademarked by Madame Grès in Paris last century. Dion Lee just deconstructed it. If anyone is planning to revive that haute couture house, you know who to call.
Click here to see frockwriter's Posterous pic gallery of the show.