Always one for understated style, the Lee Mathews woman is quietly confident in her own skin and has a high appreciation for quality fabrics, definitely a reflection of the designer herself.
The first time at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia (MBFWA) in seven years, it brilliant to see this label showcasing again.
“My previous shows were in 2007 and 2008. Rebranding the business this year coincided with the 20 years of MBFWA, so I thought it was timely and went well with the fresh direction.
It is a good way to focus everyone’s attention on the collection and the feeling for the season ahead, as well as the future of the business” says Mathews.
Starting her label in the year 2000, it is easy to see that Lee Mathews draws from her graphic designer and illustrator background.
Her prints have a fluent artistic feel to them.
This truly was a fresh and exciting direction for the label.
The show had a wonderful organic feel, with a slight nod to vintage.<
Tunic style teamed with wide leg pants were a re invention of the 1970’s.
Brought forward to 2015 by the addition of obi style belts, these drew everything back to a minimalist silhouette.
Cute playsuits in black with white stripes had a “Hamptons” feel.
I adored the softness of the black georgette maxi that floated down the runway like a butterfly tripping through spring. Sigh!
Bold stripes in both black and white, and navy and black had a subtle strength, and the patterns felt calm and relaxed.
Muted red used for the diamond print brought a softness to a traditionally energetic hue and sharp shape.
Touches of taupe and earthy tones rounded out the grounded colour palette.
I loved cross body bags and flat Birkinstock style shoes that anchored the whole look.
When asked about the design process for her 2015 collection, Lee said “Japanese prints and Boro textiles were the starting point and the idea of wrapping, tying and twisting to create little details.
I love these elements mixed with simple shapes like shirts and wide leg pants. I have also love an ‘apron’ style and wanted apron backs on things for that feeling of utility and functional dressing, but to give it a slightly softer look by making styles like this in georgette.”
Soft layering and cleverly mixed proportions gave a feminine edge to what could have easily been quite masculine, a yin to the yang, so to speak.
Hair was a relaxed affair designed by Renya Xydis for Cloud 9, and the talented Linda Jefferyes for M.A.C created a soft neutral palette for make up.
Both complimented the Lee Mathews aesthetic.
Seeing Lee’s designs off the runway being worn by fellow fashionistas in the days following the show, only proved how user friendly this label is.
I must say there was an excitement in the room after the show.
With a new store opening on Paddington’s Glenmore road, the first purpose built for the brand, it’s an exciting way to celebrate 15 years in the business.
In a week that is sometimes filled with tricks and tizz, it was a pleasure to experience a collection filled with pieces that will be staples in ones wardrobe, made with fabrics that will stand the test of time and trends.
This show proved that fashion doesn’t have to be a one trick pony, just for one season.
Don’t we all want that little bit more from our fashion? I know I do. And Lee Mathews offers just that.
Jo Bayley, Fashion Editor, The Culture Concept Circle, 2015
With Thanks to
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