A SOGGY Sydney Sunday didn’t deter the fashion pack from popping on their heels, pulling out their iPhones and swathing themselves in (often borrowed) front-row clothes for the first day of Mercedes Australian Fashion Week.

And what better location to kick off the next week of frock watching than with the dynamic backdrop of the Sydney Opera House as the canvas?

Dion Lee showed his resort 2018 collection, underneath the sails of the Sydney Opera House, paying tribute to a personal involvement the designer shares with the iconic landmark.

In 2010, Dion Lee was the first designer to stage a runway presentation at the famous venue, returning to the site to show again in 2011 and 2014.

This year marks a deepening of Dion’s association with the Sydney Opera House, with the announcement that Lee will design the House’s new uniforms.

Dion, at just 32 years of age, will design a range of uniforms for more than 600 employees, including front-of-house, box office and tour guide staff.

Sydney Opera House CEO Louise Herron AM said: “Renewal is transforming the Opera House for future generations of artists, audiences, visitors and, most immediately, for the hundreds of staff who make the magic happen on-and-off stage, 363 days a year.

“Dion is one of Australia’s brightest fashion stars whose work draws so beautifully on the sculptural elegance of Utzon’s masterpiece. It will be wonderful to work with him to create a new uniform collection for the people who bring the place to life.”

Within the collection Lee unveiled today, the designer took references from his Australian heritage, layered with the building’s sculptural architecture.

Amazing shades of red, cobalt blue, gold and black stood out against the opera house sail ‘tiles’ with draped, folded, embellished, knotted and tailored pieces along with ear cuffs and natural looking ‘messy’ hair vibe on the models.

Alongside womenswear, Mr Lee also showed his first menswear collection with 10 menswear looks that included constructed tailoring, utility shirting, knitwear and ‘laminated’ outerwear.

The collection also marked the first time all Dion Lee categories appeared together including swimwear and sunglasses alongside collaborations with Akubra for millinery, Sarah & Sebastian for jewellery and RM Williams for boots.

Lee kicked off the most high-profile week on Australia’s fashion calendar with other designers showcasing their resort collections this week, including Bec & Bridge, Alice McCall, Sass & Bide, Steven Khalil, Romance Was Born, Bianca Spender, Kitx, We Are Kindred, Akira, Ten Pieces, Macgraw, Michael Lo Sordo, Christopher Esber and Kym Ellery.

The recent shift in making resort clothes a focus of the week has brought interest from international buyers, including Net-A-Porter, Selfridges and Browns in London.

A handful of international designers will be showing too: Katama by Garrett Neff from the US, V Major out of China and Zambesi from New Zealand.

While Dion used the Opera House as his dramatic backdrop most of the shows will be held at Carriageworks in Redfern, Sydney with the iconic Icebergs at Bondi and the Andrew Boy Charlton Pool in the Domain also gearing up as fashion week venues.

As usual, a sea of fashion bloggers posed around the place, but the really important and influential people are the buyers and bigger picture media companies who have the power to give a designer a serious adrenalin shot in the retail arm.

After today’s first show, the opening night part hosted by Mercedes in the Botanic Gardens, kicked off the apres-show part of fashion week – which for many, is the only reason they attend.

* Mercedes Australian Fashion Week will go from May 14-19 with open-to-the-public shows happening next weekend.

First seen on news.com.au

Source: news.com.au