Dion Lee SS24 gave werkwear

Dion Lee SS24 gave werkwear

by Juliette Eleuterio
3 min

Dion Lee gave us an industrious collection for SS24 at New York Fashion Week, elevating his brand to the next level through experimentation and fantasy-from-the-toolshed fashion.

The Australian designer has made a name for himself and his eponymous brand through clubwear attire that surpassed your usual skin-tight tube dress with exaggerated silhouettes with a slightly dystopian edge. This season though, we were still treated with oversized hooded jackets paired with mini skirts, but the “industrial experimentation,” as per the show notes, was the true show-stealer. 

Straight off the bat, the first look featured wrenches that formed the corsetry on a black suit jacket, a technique also used on a white button-down bodysuit paired. This playful experimentation was seen throughout the collection as Lee used established design techniques with unexpected constructor’s tools and objects. Essentially, it was a collection that Bob the Builder could be seen in if he lived in an NSFW universe.

Other nods to construction and hyper-utility came in the shape of scaffolding-inspired jewellery, bungee cords slung over the shoulder, screw details in the place of studs, a leather multi-pocketed toolbelt, and power cords used for draping, a technique we had seen Dion Lee experiment with in his Fall campaign. 

The literal workwear was also seen featured on this season’s footwear which was designed in collaboration with Ancuta Sarca, the London-based footwear designer known for turning old Nikes into c*nty hybrid sneaker-heels. Together, the two created silver belt buckle kitten heels and below-the-knee boots fixed with buttoned pockets made out of Lee’s deadstock garments.

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This season gave us a playful interpretation of the Dion Lee brand which is definitely getting more experimental through materials and storytelling rather. The merge of non-fashion elements like wrenches in a very fashion-forward collection creates an atmosphere in which the two co-exist in a parallel universe where your plumber is more stylish than you. This is the sort of fantasy that comes to life during fashion week.

It wasn’t just from an experimental standpoint that Dion Lee expanded his brand this season, but also through the colour palette. We saw pops of a yellow-ish tan on leather trousers and corset tops and red on lace bodysuits, swaying away from the brand’s typical monochromatic safe space.

While we’ve seen the brand play with denim before – though last season it was more so the lack of denim that made the über-ripped up denim jeans and shorts pieces stand out – this season dived head-first into the material. There were a series of looks made from the construction worker’s go-to handy fabric, including a pocketed bra top and jeans featuring another tool belt. 

That’s not where the experimentation ended though, as Lee laminated a pair of jeans to give it a glossy effect while another had an ombré effect, going from a light wash to a darker one. This just goes to show Lee’s ability to transform and expand his brand into new territories without losing the aesthetic components that make the brand what it is. 

Clearly, Lee put in the werk to make this collection come to life. It’s safe to assume (or at least we hope) that we’ll be seeing more experimentation like this from Dion Lee in the future. Now that he’s showed us his backyard tool shed, where will he take us next? Grandma’s attic? The local 7/11? Your guess is as good as ours.

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