Latest designer crush: Dion Lee.
What the Line Sheets Said: “Transit, Transient, Transition, Transport”
(Gratuitous) What I Thought: Hellooo, beautiful.
I’ll have you know that I’m currently writing this ten minutes before a lecture on communication theories – a fact not entirely relevant, per se, but context is crucial (so says the professor) – and the two boys next to me are peeking over at my screen. They’ve taken it upon themselves to give me their input on Dion Lee.
Or, rather, me wearing Dion Lee. I’ve gotten the ever-coveted seal of approval* - Dion Lee is boy-friendly, ladies! - as said boys think the aesthetic suits me perfectly. My words, yes, because boy-talk is a language of its own; you’re lucky I’m well acquainted with the dialogue and have given a comprehendible summary of their remarks. In the interest of full disclosure, however, I’ll also have you know that I’m currently wearing a (favorite) velour tracksuit.
Yes ma’am, I am.
Thus, how they gathered that Dion Lee and I were a match made in heaven was probably not deduced from today’s sartorial look…
If you set aside my sporadic tracksuit tendencies (forgive me?), Dion Lee’s S/S 2013 collection really is right up my alley. Immediately following the initial swoon/”hellooo beautiful” I may have uttered under my breath, was Gratuitous Thought #2: It’s so incredibly me.
Me as in me right now, meets the ideal me a few years down the road. We’re all aspirational shoppers
stylists to some extent.
Feminine will always be the basis of my wardrobe; that will never change. It’s my mood du jour, however, that determines the aesthetic that this umbrella term “feminine” takes on: sometimes I crave structured, modern and edge a la rock-and-roll (I affectionally call it the Jane Bond); other times I turn to conventional ideas of the softer, more sensual side of femininity. Tailored and body-conscious head to toe, or a floaty blouse and fitted bottom. Black and jewel tones, or creamier pastels. Leather jackets versus cropped sweaters. Either-or, this-or-that. You get the idea.
These two facets of womanity – let’s call it that – are essentially polar opposites for me. And yet even so, Dion Lee manages to successfully merge the two into one cohesive collection. It’s the perfect wardrobe for early fall and spring: juxtaposed are slightly structured, all-black pieces that ground the collection in fall and softer, lighter elements that reference spring. Critics mention a moodiness and futuristic, “chic alien queen” vibe which I understand, but don’t quite agree with. It’s undisputedly modern, but in that New Age-y, edgy sort of way. It’s still pretty. It’s still feminine. There’s no rock reference as it’s been done time and time again – just pure, streamlined modernity and minimalism.
Dion Lee’s SS 2013 woman is the modern warrior 2.0: she’s Jane Bond gone pretty.
The color palette is gorgeous in all its simplicity: a near monochromatic canvas of white or black with a hint of digital color bursts. Just spatterings of technicolor to highlight the intricate origami folds and interesting cuts, because silhouette and fabric are everything. There’s neoprene. Leather. Jersey (-like?) drapes. Sheer panels. This is modern sensuality at its finest. It’s cool. No sex or sexy (traits that would have been found in a classic Bond girl), but pure interpretation of neo-sensuality.
Is this feminism translated into clothing?
A current obsession with Tracy Anderson is to blame for my proclivity for beautiful lines and bare skin. Sure the bare midriff is a bit excessive,** but substitute a high-waist pant or skirt and you have yourself an appropriate take on the looks. Regardless of how the look is replicated, I can’t help but to admit the genius of proportions and silhouette. A great, clean-cut leather jacket paired with a slouchy sweatpant (those sheer panels on the calf are insaaane) offer enough androgyny to forgive a few inches (or more) of skin. It’s comfortable, forgiving and elongating all at once. All black or all white, depending on your mood. Matrix girl today, Leeloo tomorrow, respectively.
The same goes for the dresses. The cut of the neckline – cutting inwards at a diagonal towards the collarbones before flaring out in a halter-like collar – is brilliant (my favorite dresses of the moment have a similar shape). Again, incredibly flattering and unconventionally feminine in that it highlights the delicate shape of the shoulders instead of the bust. A slight high-waist proportion and midi-length guarantee lengthening and slimming of the body (another favorite silhouette of mine). Pretty pale peaches and whites with strategic peeks of skin via sheer cutouts.
I can’t compare it to any current designers. Off the top of my head I can say that this was everything I wanted Calvin Klein collections to be. It’s not that Dion Lee was the most original (no such thing exists), but this was a designer who put together all these elements successfully. It’s the perspective and execution I admire.
Here’s to another designer added to the favorites list.
. . .
**When is fashion not excessive? Pray tell…