Ellery needs little introduction. Even for those unfamiliar with the name, the brand’s now iconic waterfall ruffle sleeves and exaggerated flared trousers are impossible to miss. They’re the stuff of a stylish modern woman’s wardrobe ranging the Jenners and Kardashians to Rosie Huntington-Whitely and Kate Bosworth — despite the starkly varied personal styles of the aforementioned starlets.
The secret to these widely adored, uber wearable statement pieces? A judicious dichotomy designer Kym Ellery has refined over the 11 years since inception. Her garments are often minimalist in its colour palette, yet maximalist in detailing. Subtly boyish in its precise tailoring, but feminine in silhouette. Most importantly, their head-turning quality holds up both at the office and after the sun goes down.
This versatility we speak of is especially amplified in an exclusive archival edit for e-tailer The Outnet — the 12-piece selection range shimmery tops that could be dressed up or down, and standout pieces to spotlight or pare-back. On occasion of its drop, the Australian-born and Paris-based designer peels back the layers of her inspirations for Female.
Has art always been a key source of inspiration for you?
“Yes, forever since I can remember. I grew up in a very artistic household; my mother is an artist, as are a lot of her friends so I was constantly surrounded by creative thinkers. It has made me very interested in design development and also the curation side of creating a collection — bringing together the different elements is always such a fun, make or break part of the process.”
We love that you constantly surprise with unique and unexpected silhouettes, yet Ellery clothing always remains wearable. How do you temper this?
“As a woman, I feel that I know what women want to wear so it makes designing the collection somewhat easy. I adore architecture and had I not started Ellery, I am sure that I would have ended up being an architect. I love to challenge myself to find that balance — to me, it is one of the most enjoyable things about being a designer.”
What did you want to achieve with the exclusive The Outnet edit?
“For this collection, I really wanted to relaunch some of my favourite silhouettes from the Ellery archive. I chose pieces that I thought deserved another moment in the sun; pieces that are also my personal favourites. The Outnet has such a wide and dedicated audience, I wanted to make something exciting and exclusive for them. I wanted to give them the opportunity to collect pieces that they may have previously missed out on, so that they too can enjoy pieces that I still enjoy.”
Which is your favourite piece from the collection, and where would you probably wear that to?
“I adore the silver lurex-jersey shirt with the long ’70s style collar. I plan on wearing mine to both dinner and to the beach over a bikini.”
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How have you grown and evolved since starting the brand, and by extension, how has Ellery grown too?
“I like to challenge myself to grow and evolve constantly. Each time I start a new collection I love to try and approach it in a new way in order to challenge myself and the outcome. As a result, the collection evolves and grows as well; often alongside me. As I mature, so does it.”
Having moved to Paris a couple of years ago, did you notice any changes in Ellery, as a result of you relocating?
“It is a dream come true for me to now wake up each day in Paris. It is the goal that I set for myself when starting the brand 11 years ago, and the journey here has not been an easy one. Design wise, I feel a lot more certain about what I want the collection to say now, and I feel that I understand the global woman much better. It is very difficult to have an understanding of the global industry when you are living in a place so far removed.”
What is a typical day in Paris for you like, versus a typical day in Sydney?
“In Paris, the day has a different energy to that of a typical day in Sydney. Paris rises slowly and has a small intimate, community feeling. Sydney days start early usually with traffic and strong coffee. It is difficult to compare the two because they are completely different, but I love them both in their own way.”
What’s your personal style like, and what do you look for in clothing?
“I love my clothing to be modern, yet classic. Comfortable, but also unique. I love to wear tailored pieces, especially pants. I love winter, so nothing beats the perfect jacket.”