The one notion that can’t be disavowed when it comes to Dion Lee is that he has been successful in homing in on and retaining his core consumers. Even though the COVID-19 global pandemic continues to hinder certain aspects of the fashion sector for many brands (young and established), for Lee a year later, it will see him open his first North American store in New York’s SoHo, at 11 Mercer Street, to be exact — also the site of where the fashion film took place.
As a designer who likes to play with elements of seduction and skin-baring elements, for his fall offering Lee found inspiration through the exploration of a feeling of strength and control via equestrian references such as saddlery, bridles, blinders and stirrups — putting forth an architectural and body-evoking garb of exaggerated proportions that is in tune with the ethos of the brand.
Preppy striped V-neck sweaters are deconstructed to ribbed harness tube tops, Y-front construction from men’s underwear is abstracted into sensual interlocking bodysuits and long johns in a cashmere ribbed jersey, leather corsetry pieces built with oversized eyelets and belt-fastening hardware get a softened look with crochet dresses and draped ribbed knitwear. Not to mention the sculptural leather outerwear pieces, which take on a more utilitarian appeal with integrated saddlery and finished with shearling and calf-hair details.
The collection saw the introduction of a footwear collaboration with French brand Both Footwear — showcasing six styles that included knee- and thigh-high utility boots with custom hardware (with calf hair and shearling), a heeled ankle boot and a knee-high boot with sculpted leather that resembles a horse’s hoof. In a time when consumers continue to navigate through the constructs of sexuality and how that translates to the growing realm of fashion, Lee’s offering continues to build an authentic landscape with eye-turning pieces that blend sex appeal, experimentation, tailoring and craft.