Kym Ellery's enduring love affair with Paris is no secret. So it should come as no surprise that when she was invited by the Fédération Français de la Couture du Prêt-à-Porter des Couturiers et des Créateurs de Mode to show as part of the official off-schedule program at Paris Fashion Week, she didn't hesitate.
Ellery recently unveiled her Spring Summer 2014 collection entitled 'Transcendenta', at the Hôtel d'Évreux to international critical acclaim. The sophisticated collection was inspired by 1970s interior architecture, collage and the meditating mind. (The title of the collection is a reference to her recent preoccupation with meditation). Signature Ellery silhouettes sat alongside new shapes and forms in a collection that the designer described as "a contrast between androgyny and femininity." Silk organza, metallic striped gauze, textural wood-grain lamé, satin foam and hand sewn netted sequins were presented in a colour palette of garnet, claret, black, white, soft nudes with flashes of silver.
The prints throughout the collection were a highlight, featuring the work of Australian contemporary artist Ben Baretto, who re-created his unique, hand-woven tapestries fashioned from twine, abseiling rope and bricklayer's line into bespoke panels which were then inserted into the garments. "I discovered his work when I saw a flyer for one of his exhibitions, and straightaway I contacted the gallery curator to set up a meeting (with Baretto),” says Ellery of the collaboration.
With her Paris Fashion Week debut, Ellery joins Collette Dinnigan and Paris-based Martin Grant as the only Australian designers ever to be invited to partake in the highly prestigious official schedule, an impressive accomplishment for any designer.
"It has always been my dream to show in Paris," says the designer. In fact, several years ago when asked where she would like to see her eponymous label in five years time, showing at Paris Fashion Week was at the top of her list.