July 02, 2013 New York
Thinking about swimwear got Lee thinking about water. And water became the main theme of this collection, expressed through both print and construction. More specifically, Lee found himself extrapolating the idea of oil and water, and how the two fluids co-exist, but in a state of perpetual separation. Hence the rather trippy prints here, and the abstract graphic cutouts and welded embellishments. The shiny finishes, too, were inspired by oil slicks, whereas water got additional play in Lee's patternmaking, which emphasized wavelike forms and Möbius draping. A leather sheath dress, for instance, boasted a sculpted shoulder that just about looked surf-able. That was the collection's most dramatic look by far; in general, the clothes were relatively down-to-earth. It was nice to see Lee applying his engineering talents to pieces that were really relaxed, like his easygoing white slipdress with an orange neoprene lining. Like water, it just flowed.