Despite just a few hours sleep, Dion Lee was calm and composed backstage, and more fresh-faced than the entire front row. His SS13 collection was (as his collections usually are) highly accomplished, futuristic, super technical, and, from start to finish, completely wearable. How does he manage to create such time-intensive, pretty-much perfectly executed collections and then show them on the other side of the world without, you know, breaking out in a zit or two from stress? I forgot to ask him when I interviewed him after the show, but we talked about other things — like the human body and metaphorical frozen yoghurts.
Zac Bayly: What was the concept this season?
Dion Lee: There was this idea of transit. When I was designing the collection, I was travelling quite a bit, and was quite conscious of geography. And, being Australian, you’re travelling constantly, and there was a lot of parallels between topographic references and thermal images of the human body.
You like the human body, don’t you.
Yeah, I do.
Were you a biology nerd in school, like me?
No, I wasn’t. But it’s the easiest source of inspiration when you’re working with the body!
The collection reminded me of futuristic, under-water office-wear.
Oh, did it? [Laughs] That’s great. Not really, though. It did have slightly more mature silhouettes, but I’d kind of liked the idea of working with a slightly longer line, and layering transparencies so that it seemed light. The type of woman that I was attracted to this season was a little more… Demure.
May I ask some weird questions?
Out of your models, if the backstage area was on fire, which would you save?
Oh god… I can’t say that! They were all great. It was great to have some beautiful Australian models wearing the collection.
Which look would you save?
I’m not sure. I really like some of the simple looks. I like the leather, split-wrapped skirt with the sheer shirt.
How many coffees have you had today?
I’m running on adrenalin.
If your collection were a frozen yoghurt with three toppings, what would it be?
It could be choc-chip if you like.
Oh, right. Honeycomb…
Are we talking vanilla yoghurt?
This is really hard. I like things to be simple. I wouldn’t put three toppings on there, to be honest.
Photography via Style.com