Perhaps there’s some personal truth behind the inspiration for Lunar Tides, Dion Lee’s resort 2013 collection. Something about being pulled in different directions, the rise and fall of gravity, magnetism, supply and demand, and so on. Certainly for someone so young and ambitious, Lee has no doubt felt the weight of expectation and the seismic pressures and demands of the fashion industry.
His decision to pull out of MBFWA earlier this year was maybe the first hint of strain, but when you look at his plans for the year, and indeed the quality of his resort collection, few could blame him.
With Lunar Tides, Lee continues his aesthetic reimagining of the female form. A structured collection of perfectly fitted dresses, skirts, with the occasional pant or short. Lee calls it “scuba tailoring” and the underworld athleticism influence is a strong one. Gutting the fabrics with slashes and slices, Lee takes what look like fishbone cut outs as fabrics braided in gill-like formations.
The life aquatic colour palette extends to marine blues, steel grey, neon brights and phosphorous threads. There’s further exploration in textiles and fabric developments with graphic digital prints – for which he collaborated with screen-print artist Kate Banazi – skilled meshing, rubber thermal films and neoprene.
Lee’s success as a designer comes from his ability to make everything look clean and uncomplicated. Scratch the surface and what you’ll see are the technical feats of someone obsessed with pushing himself far beyond safe design borders.
It’s the difference between looking at the moon from afar and a close up of an undulating lunar landscape.