Kym Ellery went out with a bang last night. This year's official Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia ambassador kicked things off with a large-scale presentation at Carriageworks for her final Australian show as part of MBFWA. Things began with a prelude performance by dancers from the Australian Ballet Company and ended with a vivacious Kym Ellery galloping down the runway at the Blackmith's workshop. Usually reserved for the Eveleigh Farmer's Market, this cavernous space was filled with those eager to witness Ellery's final show here at home, as she prepares to make the permanent move overseas to Paris Fashion Week. While most other designers will this week be presenting Spring Summer 15/16, though, Ellery made a point of difference by instead presenting her Autumn Winter 15 collection, fresh from the shows in Paris last month.
Unsurprisingly, architectural silhouettes were the look du jour for Ellery's Fall collection, which was inspired by the feminine elegance of Egon Schiele's 20th century figurative paintings. A pared back colour palette was interspersed with pops of colour and a hint of future classicism by way of sequinned embellishments and fringed lurex. Modern tailoring was offset with shades of burnt orange and vibrant blue, as well as some high shine metallics to match the rain of glitter that marked the finale. Silhouettes were bold and ranged from cocooned coats, to fluted skirts and, of course, a healthy dose of Ellery's signature flares — albeit somewhat whittled down this season. Oversized sleeves and bell bottomed pants sauntered down the runway, while lashings of suede were tempered back with slick suiting. On a beauty note, things were also structural, but primarily neutral hued. Hair was tucked into coat collars and eyes were winged with white shadows, lending an ethereal sort of beauty that was consistent with the evening's overall mood. A standout were the unusual dangling earpieces fashioned from buttons made by Kym Ellery's artistic mother, Debra. Another sure favourite for the coming months were oversized yeti coats that enveloped models like the flaxen-haired Ruby Jean Wilson. A bit of an aesthetic departure, they somehow worked seamlessly alongside the lean lines of Ellery's beautiful suede coats.
A highlight of the night was seeing Australian model and recent mum Gemma Ward open the show after a 10-year hiatus from the modelling industry. Equally as exciting was when fellow model veteran and all around legend Emma Balfour closed the show, fresh faced and with her to adorable sons watching on from the front row. As the models were ushered backstage, Kym Ellery took her bow by running down the extra long runway, a giant smile plastered on her face. It was an honest and moving moment, one that wasn't even dampened by the hysterics of an uninvited local — who had to be restrained by security when he rushed the designer, ranting about the noise.
Overall, it was a sophisticated affair, but one with plenty of fun injected into all aspects, from the music to the clothing. Though we may not be seeing Kym Ellery present in Australia again for a while, it was certainly a high note to end things on. This might be the end of an era, but it will be exciting to see how the Ellery label continues to grow and develop overseas, because if last night is anything to go by, this is just the beginning.
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