VOGUE 180°

She has a feel for an­other time and place. She makes beau­ti­ful bias-cut slips and has the light­est touch and deep­est dreams in her work. By Ali­son Ve­ness. Styled by Philippa Moroney. Pho­tographed by Hugh Ste­wart.

VOGUE Australia - - News -

Lee Mathews has a feel for an­other time and place.

The sun­light fil­ters through Lee Mathews’s clothes hung out to dry on the wash­ing line strung across McCarrs Creek. She has al­ways been a re­source­ful de­signer, cre­at­ing a rich patina from the ear­li­est days when her first heav­enly store and studio was up on Syd­ney’s North­ern Beaches. For all the del­i­cacy, fragility and sense that these are trea­sures that will be washed and ironed thou­sands of times then handed down, there is a strength, too. A com­fort. Mathews has the kind of Ir­ish/Aus­tralian courage that al­lows her to tell sto­ries through her work, her sketches – her hand-drawn prints im­bue the gos­samer silk geor­gette dresses with whis­pered mean­ing, tales, laugh­ter, per­haps a wist­ful­ness. Her de­signs seem so rel­e­vant in a fash­ion mo­ment charged as it is with change and dis­cov­ery, and tem­pered with a sense that there is a slow­ing down, too, a need for a quiet­ness, a pause, a life well lived and ac­knowl­edged. Wind­dried cot­ton voile, a shy smile, hands deep in her pock­ets, sleeves rolled up, still in the natural land­scape that is as darkly mys­te­ri­ous as the fast-flow­ing creek in which she stands. This is now.

Lee Mathews in McCarrs Creek, New South Wales, wears all Lee Mathews.

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