As I reiterated on the day of Dion’s Line II show, there’s no question that the man is Australian fashion industry royalty – as he grows his mainline shows in New York City, his Australian show supporters remain consistently loyal. It’s always as packed a house as any other Big Apple superstar sweetheart’s runway. His Line II show headlining Fashion Week in Australia was a similar situation – nobody would miss it for even the most generous of (much-needed) sleep-ins – the people-watching, for starters, is a show in itself. Anybody who was anybody dressed in their best Dion, as the pack would to see Uncle Karl.
Now, when it comes to diffusion lines, most designers’ press releases identify a ‘little sister’ or, some other analogy for an extension of creative genius to touch the souls of mere mortals née college students. I, on the other hand, like to consider it a financial buffer, appropriately disguised as Sports Luxe, to fund the expenditure required to maintain a smoke screen of glamour and extravagance around the mainline. A cynic would cite the increased initiations of diffusion lines around global economic slumps. And Roberto Cavalli prefers to keep it real: copying himself so it’s increasingly awkward when other people do.
When it comes to Dion Lee, Line II to his mainline is not as Marc by Marc Jacobs to Marc Jacobs, or Just Cavalli to Roberto Cavalli. T by Alexander Wang may be more comparable in principle, but only in principle – the Wang woman wears Wang collection to out-chic their co-workers, and T to out-Normcore their co-grocers. The Dion Lee woman wears Dion Lee to stop traffic in New York, London, Milan and Paris, and Line II to stop traffic back home – more by innovative design than any kind of Daphne Guinness finery.
This is the breed of anti-basic-basic that I so adamantly hailed at the end of last week. Every woman needs her leather jacket, French blue and white button down, striped shirt and foolproof bomber, and pretty much every woman has those.
They just don’t have these ones.
And there’s something delicious about that.