Dear Dion.

Words by

Amy Campbell

Dear Dion, 

I feel like we’ve known each other for quite some time. Perhaps we were friends in another life, because every look you sent down the VAMFF Grand Showcase runway last night set my heart alight. 

How did you manage to encapsulate my dreams in ten fleeting minutes? 

Maybe it was the oppressive temperature of the Royal Exhibition Building. Then again, the females in the front row opposite confirmed I wasn’t the only one experiencing hot flushes. Your cool, slippery silks and intricately-woven hemlines had my jaw spend some quality time on the floor. 

Before your girls even entered, there was a palpable feeling of electricity in the air. Your ethereal soundtrack pulsated its way around the pylons of the grand hall, lights darting sporadically across that illuminated mountain at the end of the runway that would soon guide your girls across the floor.  

And then they came. They entered in white and left in off-the-shoulder shiraz. Pure as angels yet mysteriously untouchable, your models didn’t walk. They floated. 

The women in white reflected an innocence within. The models opened the showcase with an air of tranquillity. Their sleeves were long and their skirts were short. Directional panels guided eye accross body, and conservative cut-outs (I didn’t even know there was such a thing?) said, “look, but don’t touch.” 

Then came the hunnies in honey. Their nude hue’s injecting the collection with a subtle feeling of warmth. Suede dresses wore like a second skin. Your models looked fearless and raw, in both your signature skin-tight silhouettes and shapes of a more liberated form. 

And just when I thought it was all soft and sensual, in marched the matriarchs in head-to-toe black. Channeling everyone’s inner rebel, they were dark, demure and had a 90s allure. Luxe leather jackets were contrasted against panels of sheer. Suddenly, necklines went from high to low, with plunges allowing the bad-girl-in-black stereotype to flow. 

Enter: Margaret Zhang. Well not in the flesh, but the outfit for which we remember her Derby Day cameo best. With elongated sleeves and a skirt reminiscent of a tessellated mermaids tail, this look was challenging but satisfying. Proportionally, everything was so wrong. But aesthetically, so right. 

Your ladies in navy gave way to an unexpected burst of red. An inner romantic, she was all passion and lust. With structured scarlet suedes juxtaposed against silks in tangerine, she told a story of a lover both sensual and strong. 

Your slits said sexy but your tailoring said suave. You explored the mini, midi, maxi and pants. You travelled from sheer and shoulderless to a deconstructed blazer, from a sophisticated fishnet to the revolutionary ‘basket weave.’ There were textures in every tone and tacicity. And somehow, you managed to unite it all with such effortless ease. 

You dressed Yaya in a hoodie and swaddled Sam Harris in feathers of red. You presented a rainbow of romance, from the pure and demure to the fiery and arcane. 

Dion, if I could, I would wear you every day. You embody the very essence of grand, but there’s something about the everyday woman your clothes seem to understand. 

You elicit a conversation between the soft and strong, and that’s why your SS ’16 runway, presented at last night's Grand Showcase, spoke to me (and every other fashion-loving lady). 

Your Sincerely, 



Sara D'Ambrosio

Leave a comment


And why you should stop ‘doing’ your hair this year.
We've come a long way since the old suit and tie.
Exploring the Fashion and Textiles collection.
Bringing Lee’s brand DNA to sunglasses.
Backstage with REDKEN.
The one that was held in a carpark.
The one where I outfit repeated.
Presented by Target and Supported by Fashion Journal.
The one where street style steps up.
The one where I tried (and failed) to look effortlessly cool.
A celebration of the strength and diversity of Australia's fashion industry.
Curious Birdy & S.Rush collaboration collection.
NB: some of these lessons were learned the hard way.
Really, really, ridiculously good-looking.
Celebrating bigger and better than ever.
Inspired by warmth, skin, masking layers and woven textures.
For lovers of beautiful fashion.
Count on extraordinaire Dion Lee to deliver the goods.
Dion Lee crosses to South East Asia.
Let us take a moment to reflect on the inspiring week that has been. In GIFs.
VAMFF comes to a close with Romance and Bush Magic.
Converse kicks on the runway? Thumbs up always.
The best part of fashion week.
We really, really wanted to reach out and feel the models (and yes we know how weird that sounds).
"I like the idea of how we as Australians are really in awe of everything that’s going on overseas, but really we take a...
"We looked at Japanese Bosozoku girls, which is an underground subculture of female biker gangs in Japan."
"I guess I feel a bit, not like the underdog, but I am very different to everyone else here."
"Well it was quite interesting last year, the fire alarm was set off by a steamer and we all had to evacuate."
"Not for the fainthearted, but for today's fashionkilla."
'You are never going to see us do the same sort of thing or send the same thing down the runway."
"But this is the pinnacle, the most important award in the country."
Melbourne Fashion Festival off to a fiery start.
Not too busy to visit us Melbourne kids.
Lift your look without even trying.
The future of Australian fashion is right here...
This is going to make for one jam-packed festival.
TOME, ètre cècile and Martin Grant are coming home for VAMFF.
A inside look into behind the scenes of VAMFF.
A cultural night out for the fashion lover.
Brace yourselves ladies.
After this weeks opening launch of his new Emporium Melbourne Store, Dion Lee strikes again with the release of his spring/summer...
Fans of sculptural silhouettes and minimalism flocked to Melbourne’s Emporium last night for the opening of Dion Lee Site 02.
Minimalist yet intriguing, Dion Lee has done it again.