On the second last evening of NYFW, in an open warehouse space, Dion Lee showed his Fall 2022 collection of his eponymous label to thumping trance music, conjuring feelings of dystopia and futurism through a technical collection.
At first beat, it is already the club kid winter wear we've always wanted, as models appear onto the runway in thick shearling jackets and corsets paired with leather cargo mini skirts and open-toe shearling boots. There is also a canvas dress with sleeves that extend into leather butcher-style gloves that, at second-glance, unhinge at the shoulders with hook-and-eye closures. There has always been a transformative quality about Lee's work. In previous collections, dresses can be worn back to front, knit tops can be twisted or shrugged off to reach the desired effect. For Fall 2022, the element of deconstruction is offered in a more literal sense.
Hoods feature heavily throughout, as we've seen in multiple collections already this season. For Lee, they are rendered in tight ribbed cotton and technical lace, the face covered by removable masks that resemble jock straps. Later in the collection, they are offered in cable knit and puffers, extending off of knit dresses and reflective outerwear.
There is a dystopian element to the mood Lee creates for Fall 2022. Faces are covered, trousers are clad with utilitarian pockets paired with futuristic track sole boots; technical lace is fitted to the body like cobalt blue super suits. Lee's signature leather harnesses make an appearance once again, alongside a black leather butcher apron and leather corsetry. PVC t-shirts are offered alongside reflective puffer jackets and rain coats. If it wasn't for the warehouse setting, one could imagine the show would take place inside the world of Dennis Villeneuve's Dune.
Since his move to New York City in 2017, Lee's strength has been rooted in subversion, tapping into the hedonistic energy extracted straight from the club scene and embodied throughout collections. During his time there, we have witnessed the designer move from his coveted tailoring perfectly suited to the Australian lifestyle, to a brand DNA that can be relied upon to meet the moment. The offering is there. From dynamic, queer coded tank tops that cater to accessibility, to robust harnesses and delicate lace gowns that barely even hint at hyper-femininity, Lee is making clothing for his community, and it works.
See the full collection, below.