Celebrating her label's 20-year anniversary on day four of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia, Lee Matthews, together with her head of design, Natalia Grzybowksi, looked back in order to create a collection that felt in tune with the modern woman.
"We spent time looking at a lot of the past collections and some of the vintage pieces I've held onto over the years,” Mathews told InStyle. “It was nice to reflect but I didn't want to recycle exact styles, fabrications or prints so I asked [artist] Christina Zimpel to reinterpret the prints we most liked in her own way.”
From polka dots to nature-inspired motifs and LM insignia, these prints peppered shirting, quilted skirts and the long, sheer dresses central to the brand’s DNA.
It wasn’t just Mathews' own origins explored this season—the designer played with the idea of a garment in its rawest state, which resulted in chic wardrobe-staple tailoring with a twist.
“The idea that most pieces of clothing start as a toile made in calico really appealed to me—that the genesis of something is white or cream and a truly raw thought. I wanted most of this collection to feel like that, gradually merging into something coloured or printed,” she says.
A personal favourite was the white blazer patched with calico pockets and featuring strips of fabric trailing from its hem like a toile. Classic white shirts also featured oversized pockets, as did candy pink pieces—the utilitarian accoutrements lending an undone elegance to the feminine shade when applied to loose silhouettes.
There's something in this collection for every occasion, whether it's a practical shirt for work, a slinky (but not too slinky) dress for a wedding, or pants to run around in—the versatility and ease of wear is there and it is presented in a way that doesn't feel boring or run-of-the-mill.
Mathews knows how to create clothes that women need, but it's her knack for turning them into the pieces that we want that sets her label apart.