DION LEE AUTUMN/WINTER 2015-16 READY-TO-WEAR
Dion Lee is one of fashion’s premier engineers, and the fact that he’s constantly rethinking garment construction has made him one of the industry’s most intriguing designers. Sometimes, though, his collections can be vexing—you sense that Lee’s immersion in the technical has abstracted him from other fundamental considerations, like style and wearability.
This time out, he found a nice balance. His central ideas here were indeed formal ones: He was playing with gravity to create drape, and exploring the possibilities of bias-cutting, a technique he hadn’t used until this season, remarkably enough. But those ideas were elaborated in accessible ways, as in the die-cut oversize mesh draped around a short evening dress, or the teal and black sheath composed of folded bias-cut satin ribbons. A lot of hard thought went into making those looks, but they came across as unmannered and easy to wear.
Lee also integrated his more innovative pieces into a collection full of fairly straightforward stuff—and as it turns out, he can do the straightforward stuff very, very well. His shirting was exceedingly crisp, the riffs on menswear tailoring super-sharp and smoking hot, and his outerwear was pretty much to die for. Best of all was an emerald mohair coat: No technical innovation was required, but striking the coat’s tone of louche luxe entailed another kind of intelligence. There was emotion in these clothes—sensibility, if you will, as well as sense.