As part of its 45th anniversary celebrations, the Sydney Opera House today unveiled its new staff uniform collection by Australian fashion designer Dion Lee. The modular 24-piece collection draws inspiration from the distinctive architecture and creative genius of the World Heritage-listed building.

The new uniforms combine timeless elegance with practicality and comfort. They will be worn from mid-December 2018 by 500 staff in the Front of House, Tours and Welcome teams.

The range uses a classic monochromatic navy palette. The building’s concrete inspires the folded accent in the tailored jacket and pant pockets, as well as the custom Akubra hat, while the pleated dress and skirt are inspired by the building’s Monumental Steps.

The collaboration was announced at Lee’s landmark Mercedes Benz Fashion Week opening show at the Opera House in May 2017. Since then, Lee and the Opera House have worked extensively to refine the designs and ensure they accommodate a diverse range of operational and user needs. A uniform committee of frontline staff, wearer trials and staff surveys were critical to the collection’s success.

Sydney Opera House CEO Louise Herron AM says: “Design excellence and innovation are part of the Opera House’s DNA. We aim to carry that into everything we do, including these wonderful new uniforms.

“An important part of renewing the Opera House for future generations is ensuring staff have a refreshed uniform that they feel proud to wear. We could not have asked for a better collaborator than Dion. We are thrilled with his collection, which perfectly combines inspiration from the building with simplicity, elegance, practicality and comfort.

Lee has a long-standing artistic and personal connection to the Opera House. His 2010 runway show was the first presented in the striking setting of the Opera House’s Concert Hall Northern Foyer, and his 2013 ‘Utzon’ collection for the International Woolmark Prize launched his career internationally.

Dion Lee says: “Growing up in Sydney, I had cultural experiences at the Sydney Opera House from a young age that have forever made it a special place for me, solidified by presenting collections in different spaces within the Opera House four times over the past ten years. It’s been an honour to further deepen a relationship that I consider so special by designing the Sydney Opera House uniform.”

The new uniform collection, manufactured by Dallen, has been launched ahead of the Opera House’s 45th anniversary on 20 October. This year is also the midpoint in its Decade of Renewal, a significant program of upgrades to ensure the Opera House continues to inspire generations of artists, audiences and visitors.