Dion Lee Wants You to Feel Your Body

Dion Lee

FRIDAY FEB. 10, 2023 10:07 PM NEW YORK.

After the scintillating Fall Winter 2023 Dion Lee show, “Second Skin,” our senior editor Taylore Scarabelli caught up with the designer backstage to talk Y2K style, snakes, and sculptural silhouettes.


DION LEE: Hi Taylore.

TAYLORE SCARABELLI: Nice to see you! Congratulations on the collection.

LEE: Thank you. 

SCARABELLI: This is only the second show I’ve been to this week but I’m so refreshed by how sexy it was.

LEE: I’m not afraid of being sexy.

Dion Lee

SCARABELLI: That’s right. I wanted to ask you who did the music? Because it was so fab.

LEE: A friend of mine, Martin [Schacke] he’s a Copenhagen-based producer, who’s done a series of our shows. He worked with a Copenhagen-based duo, an electronic band called First Hate, and remixed their track.

SCARABELLI: I loved it. So, I know you from being out. We both like a good party. We both like a good rave. How much does that influence your work?

LEE: So much. It’s how I dress when I go out, wanting to feel sexy, wanting to feel your body and feel yourself.

SCARABELLI: Honestly, this collection makes me feel like I want to be at a sexy beach party in Ibiza in 2004.

LEE: Yes, 2004. 

SCARABELLI: It has that Y2K energy. I was thinking about old brands like Plein Sud.  

LEE: I love Plein Sud. 

SCARABELLI: Those long flowing silhouettes—

LEE: For sure. And a lot of how its embellished or embroidered is like Plein Sud. I definitely play with that distressing and exposing of the skin and skin texture, which this collection in particular was about.

Dion Lee

SCARABELLI: Also we have to talk about the puffers because those were crazy. They have a ’90s inflatable sofa vibe. But they created a really interesting architectural—

LEE: They have an incredible sculptural profile. 

SCARABELLI: How did that come to you? 

LEE: I’ve been wanting to do it for a while, but again, it was this idea of second skin. I was thinking of these plastic outer layers in that way that snakes shed these translucent layers. 

SCARABELLI: And you’re Australian, so you know these skin-shedding creatures well. 

LEE: Yeah. I grew up on the beach. 

SCARABELLI: Okay. So, last question. What’s the best time to arrive at the after party?

LEE: Depends how long it takes me to get ready.

SCARABELLI: And what’s the best time to leave?

LEE: I need to learn that. [Laughs]