Fall 2013 Ready-to-Wear
March 19, 2013 Paris
Australian designer Kym Ellery's first claim to fame was her terrific wide-leg pants. This season, she brought them back, which is a cause for celebration—not least because the world seems a little more ready for that silhouette than it was when Ellery debuted them. Anyway, trousers aside, there were a lot of new developments here to get excited about as well. Riffing on the theme of bandits, and the Vincent Gallo film Buffalo 66, Ellery turned out her most multidimensional collection yet, incorporating a new sense of fluidity and atypical elements, such as lace and floral print, into her architectural aesthetic. The fluidity was to be found in the collection's draping, and in structured yet evanescent skirts of white or pale blue organza. Ellery made her lace durable by coating it with rubber and bonding it; the material that resulted seemed to sum up this brand's particular fusion of sweetness and toughness. But the best new element was the print, a magnified floral taken from a Dutch Old Master still life. It was the least frothy floral imaginable, and it really refreshed pieces such as Ellery's tulip-skirt cocktail dress. The print also reverberated nicely with the collection's textural materials, the croc-embossed calf leather and raw-edged tweed, and with the crisp, almost monastic white shirting. Most of all, though, along with the handful of fluid shapes and the rubberized lace, the floral lent the collection a touch of tenderness, maybe even vulnerability. Maybe there's something about watching Buffalo 66 a bunch of times that makes you realize there's nothing particularly interesting about being invincible.