NYFW: DION LEE F/W 2016

Dion Less F/W 2016
Dion Less F/W 2016

No one likes getting out of bed early on a Saturday morning, and designers are no different. Yes, there were shows running at 9:00 and 10:00, but one could tell that 11:00 was the preferred time to start the day simply by the number of shows on the schedule all at the same time. There were four, in case you were wondering, and thanks to the miracles of modern technology, I was able to watch three. All had their own strong points, and I’ll say now that Chinese newcomer Tao Wang is going to be one to watch in the future. The cut of her women’s suits were especially impressive.

What really grabbed my attention this morning, though, was the collection by Dion Lee. It seems that space/modernity/cosmos is somewhat of a theme this morning, and Lee provided a clean, simple interpretation of that by simply using a silver hoop or an open circle as his motif. I really liked the white pieces at the front of the collection and the silver hoops used as unique fasteners, but where the design really takes off is when we see the oversized circular pattern folded and draped in the clothes themselves. Not quite as minimalist as some European purists, Lee still does a wonderful job of keeping lines clean with a minimal number of seams and fasteners.

The collection is short, only 27

pieces, but Lee makes a strong statement as each piece speaks loudly. The front of the collection is all solids, white, burgundy, and blue, and the strongest of those pieces are the suits. Jacket shoulders are padded and rounded but not in an extreme or uncomfortable way. Sleeves are typically long (covering the hand) and hems are typically short, even on trousers.

For the second half of the collection, the focus is more on dresses and here Lee uses the circle differently, as a pattern. Sometimes as cutouts, sometimes as metallic pieces, one feels more of the cosmic play in these pieces. You want to pay special attention to how he uses rings to gather and create pleats, especially in skirts. You’ll also notice that the large shoulder cutouts are circular as well. When he goes with a unique metallic/wool blend in the final pieces, the effect is almost starlike, invoking thoughts of the twinkling lights in a night sky.

Lee runs the theme all the way to the end, even with accessories. The look is modern, but not overly complicated. The pieces are contemporary but still manage to be wearable. Dion Lee is a name you don’t want to miss when they hit store shelves.

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