January 13, 2017
• In her obituary in The Guardian, the late soul singer Nina Simone was referred to as someone “to be handled like hot coals or priceless china.” She possessed both a delicate fragility and a fiery strength, and that dichotomy was the key inspiration behind Kym Ellery’s strong Pre-Fall lineup.
• At the Stricoff Fine Art gallery in Chelsea, a handful of models appeared in Ellery’s newest designs—the first of which was an incredibly luxe velvet suit dipped in a brilliant medley of autumnal shades.
• As is so often the case with the Australian brand—which, I might add, has a cult-like following of cool girls like Gwyneth Paltrow and Chloë Sevigny—there was a ‘70s grooviness here, from the caramel and orange hues to the exaggerated flares and noticeable top-stitching (both Ellery signatures).
• Ellery is known for her use of volume and proportions—it may very well be in her DNA—but this season saw her venture into new terrain. Her bomber jacket, for instance, was given a fresh, feminine update with cinched trimming and ruching along the sleeves. And while she has played with denim for a few seasons now, I was pleased to find a good number of jeans, culottes, and skirts (an ankle-length one with an up-to-there slit was a stand-out) included, though they don’t appear in her lookbook. The denim is doing very well, the team said.
• There were balloon sleeves and pinstripes, deconstructed shirting, and supple, buttery leather jackets—all fine and good for the Ellery girl.
• A shaggy, wooly pullover in rose-pink was a must-have (a piece I’d very much like to live in all winter) as was as a lavish coat in various houndstooth patterns and colors.
• Ellery thought of versatility this season, and she sprinkled in various fox-fur pieces like stoles and detachable muffs, which afforded the collection a rich, uptown feel—but not at all in a stuffy way.
• Back to Nina Simone: Her jewelry of choice was often audacious, and it’s clear Ellery thought of her while designing her tightly curated selection of Pre-Fall hardware. Accessories are a growing category for her brand, and her offering of oversized necklaces, tassel-tinged earrings, and metal bracelets was seriously golden—both in the literal and figurative sense.
• The most exciting part of Ellery, for me at least, was the footwear. Ellery designs great clothes, but damn, can she make a boot.
• There were boots in embossed velvet and sleek crocodile skin—all bearing deliciously luminous block-heels made from hand-molded perspex. This season, she’s also introduced her version of the Chelsea boot, which has a tortoiseshell heel.
• And now for the crescendo: a pair of thigh-high patent black leather boots that have me frantically figuring out how I can possibly afford them, though I realize they realistically belong on someone like Rihanna (another Ellery fan). But isn’t that what fashion’s all about? The fantasy?