Dion Lee National Gallery Victoria

Dion Lee's piece for The National Gallery of Victoria's '200 Years of Australian Fashion' exhibition.

Courtesy Photo

NEW MEDIUM: The National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia, asked Dion Lee to step slightly out of his comfort zone — clothing design — to create a commissioned artwork for its latest exhibition, “200 Years of Australian Fashion,” which opened to the public last week. For his piece, Lee constructed a 13-foot sculpture of a mannequin suspended from the ceiling above the gallery’s floor. Displayed in a dimly lit room, the mannequin is draped in a black perforated jersey fabric and illuminated from within, refracting light throughout the space. It also features more than 5,000 handwoven Swarovski crystals in linear formations, inspired by the works of German artist Otto Piene, also a reference point in Lee’s recent fall collection at New York Fashion Week. “I really wanted to create a piece that extended beyond the form of a garment,” he told WWD of the sculpture.

Lee is one of more than 90 contemporary and historical Australian fashion figures highlighted in the exhibition, which celebrates Australia’s voice in the fashion industry over the past two centuries. Other featured designers include Collette Dinnigan, Kym Ellery of Ellery, Karla Spetic, Akira Isogawa, Toni Maticevski and Richard Nylon. The exhibit runs until July 31.

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