When Dion Lee sold an undisclosed shareholding to Cue just one month ago, he promised the deal would free him to focus more heavily on the creative side. Clearly he’s not one of those people whose creativity is stifled by converging deadlines – besides designing for his mainline, he also does two collections per year for Line II – but Resort 2014 is his first outing post-merger.
The verdict? Shacking up with Cue is possibly the move of his career. 'Oil + Water' is everything a resort collection shouldn’t be, and might be his strongest to date as a consequence. The easy, breezy, strolling through vineyards in the Côtes du Rhône pieces start toughening up by around look seven, at which point things become a game of opposites.
Like oil and water, Lee’s materials are ones that refuse to blend and are all the more interesting for it. Natural and synthetic elements wrap up the body like a designer Christmas ham, leather artfully declines laying flat and further separations are created by kinky cut-outs. Not the kind of stuff you'd wear to an actual beachside resort, but more in tune with nature than anything we’ve seen this season.
The thing we most want to talk about, though, is the ‘Rainbow Slick’ digital print. In the past Lee has experimented with thermal imaging in heat, and the trippy new pattern gives a similarly mind-boggling sense of movement.
the street Instagram is Dion Lee also has a swim collection in the works. Given his mastery of neoprene and the strength of this collection’s digitally printed one-piece, it'll be worth the wait.