Dress, womens, 'Ice blue knot pleated dress', silk / polyester, designed by Dion Lee, made in the studio of Dion Lee, Chippendale, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 2010
The 'Ice blue knot pleated dress' by Sydney based designer Dion Lee was part of his Spring/Summer 2010/11 collection, shown at Rosemount Australian Fashion Week in May 2010. It reflects the sophisticated and carefully crafted aesthetic that saw the young designer hailed as the saviour of Fashion Week by some media commentators (Young gun Dion Lee saves Fashion Week by Georgina Safe, The Australian, 7/5/2010). In a global context influential international fashion commentator Tim Blanks also anointed him the next big thing 'Lee deflected the weight of expectation with a flawless presentation that earned him a niche in fashion's Generation Next, alongside the likes of fellow twenty-somethings Marios Schwab and Proenza Schouler' (Tim Blanks, Vogue.com.au, Dion Lee, Australian Fashion Shows s/s 2010/11, 6/5/2010).
Lee's 2010/11 collection show entitled Façade explored 'The tension between something controlled and something subconscious and less inhibited', a concept beautifully realised in this dress. The technically challenging design of the bodice features pleated polyester wrapped and knotted around the body and across the shoulders in an intricate and tightly controlled harness like structure which is then released over the pleated mini skirt where it flicks out as the wearer walks. The mix of controlled structure with the unpredictable fluidity of the pleats illustrates Lee's ongoing exploration of architecture, science and nature in relation to the human body.
The design for this dress reflects Lee's desire to walk the line between pushing his design aesthetic while also pulling it back to something that people will want to wear, the ongoing tension between exploring his creativity and producing a commercially viable collection.
Fashion & dress
Designed by Dion Lee as part of his Spring/Summer 2010/1011 collection show at Rosemount Australian Fashion Week 2010. The show was held in the Sydney Opera House, Concert Hall foyer at 9.00am on Thursday 6th May 2010. The collection entitled Façade explored 'The tension between something controlled and something subconscious and less inhibited' (Dion Lee collection program notes).
'From the Spring Summer 2010/11 collection, 'Facade', this dress is constructed of pleated knots that wrap and harness the body with soft sculptural fluidity. Symmetrically draped, each piece was created on the stand, attempting to progress the sculptural elements of the collection with a new sense of movement and unexpected femininity. The dress strategically cuts away at the body, creating a balance of structure and openness.' Note from Dion Lee 2010.
The collection was accessorized with shoes designed by Terry Biviano featuring crystal heels conceived and created by Dion Lee. Lee spent many weeks experimenting with growing crystals on high heels left in liquid baths.
Sydney based designer Dion Lee graduated from The Fashion Design Studio, Sydney Institute TAFE NSW in 2007, displayed two outfits from his graduate collection in the Powerhouse Museum's Student Fashion exhibition in 2008, was awarded the Westfield Fashion Graduate of the Year and created his first collection for the Fashion Design Studio group showing at Rosemount Australian Fashion Week in May 2008, receiving stand out reviews for his sophisticated tailoring. In 2009 he presented his debut solo show at Rosemount Australian Fashion Week and received the Prix de Marie Claire award for best up and coming designer. International fashion commentator Godfrey Deeny described him as 'a 23-year-old wunderkind who staged the best debut collection by any designer on the planet this year'. http://www.fashionwiredaily.com/first_word/fashion/article.weml?id=2600.
In 2010 Lee won the 2010 L'Oréal Melbourne Fashion Festival Designer Award before showing to great acclaim at Rosemount Australian Fashion Week in May 2010.