June 16, 2014 New York
Like a lot of designers who got deep into the major volume trend, Kym Ellery has a challenge before her, in terms of bringing her silhouettes back down to earth. This latest offering from the Sydney-based designer suggests she'll manage that fine: These looks weren't entirely deflated, in terms of their scale, but even the most expansive shapes here connected to the body. Case in point: Ellery's fantastic, spaghetti-strapped sundresses, with graphic print and billowing movement inspired by reflection on suburban swimming pools (and study of the work of David Hockney). Elsewhere, Ellery deployed her signature bell shapes with restraint, making a trumpet hem on cropped pants, or fanning out the sleeve of a slinky bouclé dress or cotton poplin shirt. The shirting was a real highlight here, notably the sleeveless numbers in contrasting colors of broadcloth or white-coated lace. And Ellery also did well with her evening looks, in particular a really soigné strapless gown in black that turned out to be made from Lycra bonded to foam. Another black dress that looked great—a spaghetti-strap, bias-cut number with a deep V—turned out to be made from a satin so heavy it negated the piece's insouciant appeal. It also ran counter to the buoyancy of the really lovely sundresses, a collection highlight alongside the shirts. They were poetic and realistic at once, those dresses, which is a tone Ellery should keep aiming for as she looks ahead to next season.