It can be hard to describe an Ellery collection. It’s a lot of different things - slick, cool, sexy, luxurious, all come to mind - and that’s precisely why it’s so good. The press release spoke of a “desire for two extremes” and this rang true most of all when viewing her Autumn/Winter 2017 collection at Palais de Tokyo yesterday. It seems that many of today’s collections can be too much of one thing - too feminine, too punk, too traditional. Where Ellery excels, is the understanding to that women want to often embrace all of their sides at once.
“I just make clothes I think are missing”, Kym Ellery, the woman behind the brand, told Russh magazine, years before she started showing in Paris. And what’s been missing, it seems, are dramatic silhouettes, ultra-rich textures, and this seductive dichotomy she does so well.
Bold shapes are something of a brand signature, and her trademark bell-sleeves and extreme cropped flares are now instantly recognizable. But at her autumn/winter 2017 show yesterday, the designer’s extraordinary flair for form took on a slicker, softer and sexier aesthetic, with texture and trims adding a fresh dimension to the designer’s new-season collection.
Fringing adorned statement sleeves, providing a new lightness and sense of movement, with a similar effect achieved on both a matte black trouser suit and mid-length dress via feather-trimmed pockets and spliced panels.
Cropped flares were coated in latex, giving them a slick and sexy spin, and when paired with a billowing off-the-shoulder top, created an extreme but eminently wearable contrast.
The collars and cuffs of simple belted coats were finished with bright white or dramatic black fur, adding not only a sense of softness but a luxurious modern twist, the fur trim reflecting fashion’s current fascination with all-things-oversized.
Footwear, a recent addition to the Ellery line and fast becoming a brand favorite, was crafted in similarly tactile velvet, corduroy and patent leather. The addition of transparent heels, courtesy of hand-moulded Perspex, again providing an opposites attract element.
This meeting of two extremes was a theme that ran confidently through the collection. You can now have that ultra-glamorous winter coat with fur trims, but it doesn’t look dated because the fur is oversized. But like really, it's huge. You can have the sleeveless tube top, but it doesn’t look like you’re in a 90s girl group, because it has these big joyful unexpected billowy sleeves that are much more Parisian than pop-culture.
A really strong grasp on this dichotomy is perhaps why Ellery always wanted to show in Paris. Contradictions, something the French, have always gotten instantaneously, and a quality that interesting women all embody, are at the very heart of good design.
Photos: theimpression.com / vogue.com