Hailing from Perth, Kym Ellery studied at London’s Central St. Martins College before taking on a pioneering role at Russh magazine. Now regarded as one of Australia’s biggest contemporary fashion stars, Ms Ellery talks to us about her eponymous (and highly covetable) label.
F: You studied fashion design and then jumped into an editorial role at RUSSH. Was there a reason you chose to wait before launching your label?
KE: My time at RUSSH was invaluable and I was privy to many aspects of the industry from image making, marketing through to styling and production co-ordination. Whilst I always knew that I wanted to have my own label, my experience at RUSSH gave me a skill-set that I apply to my business constantly.
F: Do you have a favourite piece from the collection you just showed at MBFWA?
KE: Tricky question, almost like choosing a favourite child. I am tempted to choose the collection’s namesake, the Renegade vest dress which is in a stiff duchess satin with ostrich feathers draped across the shoulder and waist. This piece represents the brand’s DNA, it is sculpted, embellished and is in my favourite colour, black.
F: You showed this year at NYFW – WOO! – how was the experience different to showing in Australia?
KE: Presenting the Swish collection in NY was a completely unique and exciting experience for me. I did not have my team and usual Australian network present, which meant I could not rely on any preconceptions or expectations. That was both scary and exhilarating.
F: Your label is synonymous with strong silhouettes and unusual textures. Are these your first considerations when designing?
KE: My design process almost always starts with an unexpected catalyst. Previous Ellery collections have been born from beach-side basketball, a visit to the emergency room, a Vincent Gallo film, and beauty pageants in the 1980s, to name just a few. I am always open to finding inspiration from anywhere, be it the remarkable to the seemingly mundane. Fabrics are always a very early consideration and I am drawn to unique textures and innovative combinations.
F: What are your favourite sites/blogs/tumblrs for fashion/lifestyle/creative inspiration?
KE: Manrepeller, Cultivate Modesty and Instagram.
F: People often, still, associate fashion in Australia with a bikini and denim shorts – but we’re much more than that as the success of the Ellery label proves. How have you seen Australian style transform?
KE: I find Australians are playful with their fashion choices and do not adhere to strict fashion dos and don’ts. Australians are now looking for longevity in their purchases and investing in modern classics more so than in the past. With the dawn of ‘street-style’, blogs and Instagram there is a more globalised approach to dressing that is not prescriptive, but rather accepting of numerous styles which I feel Australians are truly embracing.
F: In your roles both as a market editor/stylist and designer can you talk about the importance of great product photos in today’s media landscape?
KE: Image-making has always been a huge priority for Ellery, which I inherited whilst working for a publication. Campaign and lookbook imagery are super powerful tools – effective in both displaying a production and inviting the viewer into the Ellery world. It is an avenue for designers to directly speak to the consumer and communicate a vision.
F: Can you pick just one single item you could never live without?
KE: My Ellery ‘Escapade’ raglan top. It is the perfect tee and I reach for it most mornings.
F: Finally, preferred season: Summer or Winter?
KE: Always Winter and even better would be Paris in Winter. I love to layer and wear as many different textures as possible. A more is more approach.
View and shop Ellery at http://www.elleryland.com