March 15, 2013 London
For Fall, Lee riffed on some truly rich source material: vintage regalia from a Texas Odd Fellows' union that got her thinking about secret societies and the way clothes can communicate in code. There was an overarching quirkiness here, as she emphasized oversize sailor-suit collars, military frogging, and motifs with a vaguely Illuminati feel, which she executed in a purposefully naive way. To her credit, the clothes didn't look silly; trim pants in mottled gold and copper tweed, with a band of black down each leg, had a graphic kick but were indisputably realistic, and a soft pleated dress in turquoise, white, and black silk was an elegant extrapolation of the collection's color-blocking. Elsewhere, all her pencil-slim sheaths were winners, and a gray frogged coat averted kitsch, and looked sharp. Everything had a real sense of polish. The one quibble here, really, was that Lee's sailor dresses sometimes erred on the side of the twee. You got the sense from this collection that Lee has found her voice, but she's still in the process of modulating it.