They say distance makes the heart grow fonder, and for his second season showing at New York Fashion Week, Australian designer Dion Lee assembled a collage of all things Aussie. Models stomped in-synch to Icehouse’s Aussie pub rock hit “Great Southern Land,” Lara Bingle sat front row with Phoebe Tonkin and Nicole Trunfio, and the clothes treated New York to a scrubbed-up version of retro Australiana.
Lee cited his inspiration as Australian photo artist Rosemary Laing’s surreal landscapes. But he started things off on a less fantastical note, sending out tailored separates in boxy cuts and a grey palette. These pieces apparently riffed off convicts’ uniforms from the late 18th and 19th centuries, though the skinny pants and fold-over jackets were as downtown as they were down under.
From there he paused on lush knitwear before segueing into what he’s known best for: bodycon dresses and technical theatrics. Crocodile, snakeskin and outback fauna showed up on bondage-strap bodices and fitted leather, and his final few dresses – with mirrored paneling and sheer skirts – almost looked like illusions.
His fans on both sides of the equator should find plenty to work with next season.