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Beyond the Bale : September 2018
Leading Australian fashion designer Dion Lee has made waves since he burst onto the scene with his eponymous label in 2009. An alumnus of the International Woolmark Prize, he is known for his original design, precision to detail and innovative fabrics – including the use of Australian Merino wool. With the support of AWI’s marketing arm, The Woolmark Company, Dion Lee last year launched a new capsule collection specifically designed for professional women. Aptly entitled SUIT, this new line comprised 10 wool-rich pieces. “The pieces are designed with fabrications that work within every season. Wool itself is trans- seasonal; it breathes in the summer season and insulates in the winter,” the designer said from his new studio in New York. To promote the SUIT series, the designer also released a book of portraits of 26 inspirational women who have encouraged and guided him since the beginning, including models, staff SUIT PORTRAIT SERIES DION LEE To help promote the launch of his wool-rich tailored SUIT collection, fashion designer Dion Lee has released a photo-series of the women – all wearing items from his collection – who have inspired and encouraged him through his career. Kellie Hush: Former Editor-in-Chief Harper's BAZAAR Australia and International Woolmark Prize judge. Christine Centenera: Fashion Director Vogue Australia and international stylist to some of Hollywood’s most notable names, including Cate Blanchett, Miranda Kerr and Kim Kardashian. from the Dion Lee brand, magazine editors, publicists, stylists, The Woolmark Company’s Country Manager for the USA, Michelle Lee, and of course his mother Helen Lee. “I wanted the SUIT portrait series to put our tailoring into context, to show the inspiring women who wear the clothes and how each person’s interpretation is very different.” The garments that followed were a clear and linear progression of the capsule range that he made for the prize earlier in the year, blending commercial appeal with high- fashion detailing and workwear references. Particularly in his fabrics, which included wool seersucker, wool denim and lightweight wool jersey from Holland & Sherry, fabric supplier to Savile Row, Archibald showed sophistication beyond his years, which was aided by AWI’s marketing subsidiary The Woolmark Company’s ability to facilitate connections to manufacturers normally inaccessible to emerging designers. “Because of the support I was able to execute a show that set the standard for how I want my brand to be interpreted on an international level WOOLMARK PRIZE ALUMNUS EXCELS WITH WOOL and to showcase how Woolmark has played such an integral role in the development of my business,” the designer said. Given it was Archibald’s first solo runway show for his eponymous label, the positive response, particularly from important international retailers, was all the more impressive. “Post show, I had appointments with Lane Crawford, Hudsons Bay and representatives from Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman,” he said. “The Woolmark Company prides itself on educating consumers and designers on the technical properties and benefits of wool and for me as a designer I have a responsibility to continue that conversation throughout my work.” At the most important event for local designers to show their work to international buyers and press, Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia, young Melbourne-based designer Blair Archibald showed what was widely considered the strongest menswear collection of the week. Titled ‘The Last Knitting Mill’, the collection was inspired by Archibald’s journey of understanding the world of wool during his experience as a global finalist in the 2017/18 International Woolmark Prize. The fashion show opened with a specially- made video portraying the origins and craftsmanship of the garments, including the work of Australia’s woolgrowers. Young Australian fashion designer and International Woolmark Prize alumnus Blair Archibald flexed his creative muscles during the recent fashion week in Sydney. 24 OFF FARM
In the Shops - September 2018