It's a trip and a half to get to Sydney but now that I'm down here, I'm glad I'm going on a few more journeys with the designers here hence why all my titles seem to revolve around rides. It dawned on me when I was doing interviews that I've been here for fashion week in Australia four times now (no, really - are Sydney-ites well and truly sick of me yet?). Whilst always on the lookout for the new and the off-the-fashion-track, it's also somewhat comforting to fall in with the designers who you know and have come to observe on a regular annual basis. One of them being Kym Ellery, whose label Ellery has been on a domestic and more recently international upward trajectory.
I've long been a fan of the way Kym has constructed her brand around evocative imagery, carving out a strong identity for a girl or a woman, who reflects layers, complexity and different facets - subtle sexiness, overt sensuality, toughness, raw-edged romanticism - her collections are attuned to all of that and more. Her latest collection which is essentially the Northern Hemisphere A/W 13-4 collection, (one that she took to Paris during ready to wear alongside a temporary pop-up store) with some additions. It's inspired by renegades and bandits or more specifically Vincent Gallo's character in the film Buffalo '66. That reckless spirit takes hold in the styling where what are normally stiffened satin jackets worn prim n' proper, are now tied around the waist in a louche fashion. Ellery's signature corsetry comes in tri-blend grey marl silk jersey contrasted with a not-so-shiny gold satin. White lace is dipped in rubber. Voluminous sweaters poofed out in sculptural open-backs. 17th century Dutch still life painted floral prints have a few surprising additions. The Ellery girl who tends to be upright, proper and undoubtedly sexy finds herself roughed up a bit this season.
In essence though, all those Ellery traits are still very much there. In a fashion landscape of weather-appropriate, easy-to-wear, oh-so-wearable labels, Kym goes out on a limb and proposes assymetrical sleeveless trenchcoats (one side is open-sided with a tab), goat hair pieces, super-peaked squared off shoulders and ceremonial satin bibs with crystal embroidery. There's a level of "difficulty" in Ellery's clothes that is also intriguing. As I said before, I'm having a bit of a moment in terms of rebelling against anything described as "easy" or "spare" so this Ellery collection champions my cause somewhat. Not that girls in the frow weren't hankering after what they saw. Some people are fortunately up for a challenge and Ellery is bringing it to them.