Dion Lee. Picture: Robert Duncan/The West Australian

It was only last night that acclaimed designer *Dion Lee *made his first official appearance in *Perth * but the man dubbed "the wonder boy of Australian fashion" is no stranger to *WA *.

The Sydney-based creative has made several visits in the past to see his Perth-based sister, not to mention two of his biggest celebrity fans, *Jessica Gomes *and *Nicole Trunfio *, hail from the same State.

This time it was a whirlwind trip for Lee, who was in town for an exclusive meet and greet at *Claremont * *Quarter *boutique Adam Heath last night ahead of the store's fashion parade at Citigold Polo in the Valley next weekend.

"I am only here for about 24 hours so there won't be any sightseeing but I'll see (my sister) this evening," Lee told _AAA _before the event, adding he was going to squeeze in a quick trip to *Cottesloe Beach *in the afternoon.

Renowned for showing his moulded- to-the-body cocktail dresses, digital prints and clever tailoring at fashion weeks from New York to London, the designer said his tip for ladies mulling over an outfit for the polo was to choose something with an "element of ease".

"It's all about something that really suits the woman's body shape and something that they feel elegant and sophisticated in during the day," Lee said.

Admitting he sometimes gets "embarrassed" by all the buzz that surrounds him, the 27-year-old had a significant fashion moment last week when long-time fan *Lara Bingle * made her Hollywood premiere debut, left, on the arm of *Rockingham *-raised boyfriend *Sam Worthington *wearing one of his designs - a figure-hugging cream sheath with silver mosaic-like embellishments.

Lee said it was important to him to work with other homegrown talent, especially when they were building a profile overseas.

"It was great that Lara was doing something over in LA and cool that we could support her with that," he said.

Having only opened his first stand-alone store in Sydney two months ago, Lee is raging full steam ahead to secure a second space in Melbourne.

He also plans to launch his contemporary line, Dion Lee II, at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia next month and will show again in New York in September.

But for Lee, it doesn't get much better than events such as his appearance at Adam Heath last night, where he had the rare chance to directly mix with customers.

"I think that's kind of the most important thing in a way . . . being able to have that direct interaction with the customers and having that feedback about fits and cuts and what people are responding to,"

Lee said.

"I think ultimately that kind of information and feedback help you evolve as a designer."

Could a Perth store be on the cards for the fashion star in the future?

"I would love to open a store out here," Lee mused. "Only time will tell."

JESSIE PAPAIN

'It's all about something that really suits the woman's body shape and something that they feel elegant and sophisticated in during the day.'


The West Australian

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