Dion Lee continues to address the dress code for men and women with a Fall 2022 Show at New York Fashion Week that can only be described as party armour.
Australian designer Lee has always had an edge to his designs. This was literal, in many cases, courtesy of architectural silhouettes that jutted out away from the body. Or figurative with elements that borrow liberally from fetish and rave scenes.
If you’re familiar with Lee’s work over the years, you’ll recognise many of the motifs that he has used, recycling silhouettes or styling cues. But it’s not repetitive, in part mostly because the fabrication continues to evolve in a way that makes sure each collection has its own point in time.
This time the edge found its way into the Lee’s collection through curves, through softness, through sinewy lines covering almost feral leanness of the models that walked the catwalk.
This new-found-not-softness-that’s-actually-edginess could be in part due to the clothing being modular in make. Details such as arms that are detachable or jackets that can be pinned both front and back accomodate occasion.
The beloved knit dresses that were favourite of Lee fans are back, this time reworked with more slits and openings to allow multiple ways of wearing. Need a singlet that’s a little bit fancy? Bam, Dion Lee braided knit dress to the rescue.
The differentiation between menswear and womenswear just as mutable. Androgyny has always played a part in fashion as it incorporates the best elements of both, and Lee’s brought it back into focus without any of the nostalgia that it can often invoke of the late ’90s.
This is androgyny in done in a way that is genderless. A male model wears a corset and trousers with the same sensuous aplomb as a female model that comes after. A hooded dress is cinched at the waist by a leather belt that looks more like a took kit.
Cut-away details of lace and leather tops and a denim jacket offer an interesting insight into where Lee see’s his clothing working. It looks like armour. Amazonian or Spartan it doesn’t matter, but the finishing result is an armour-like facade that’s ready to party.