We’ll always have Paris. Earlier this year, ELLERY produced a digital presentation in Paris for the release of the ELLERY Autumn Winter 20 collection. For the launch, Paris based, Australian Director King Burza created a collection film, shot inside the incredible residence of Australian Ambassador Brandan Berne at the Australian Embassy in Paris. An incredible cast of models, danced on the rooftop overlooking the Eiffel Tower in Ellery AW 20 pieces. Here, RUSSH has an exclusive look at the behind the scenes of the collection film by Kinga Burza. We also chat with Kym Ellery on 80s inspirations, her creative process and what it means to be an Australian in Paris.
You said the woman in this collection “drives a fast car, has a big dog and knows how to party.” Did you draw inspiration from any specific women, real or fictional?
I was inspired by different elements of many women, both real and fictional. The result is this ultimate muse made up from no-one specific. It was more about the feeling of her - I thought more about the way she would walk, and how she would hold a glass and which songs she knew how to play on the piano. I feel like I met her when I was a child but then at the same time I can also see her standing on the street holding a smart phone.
This collection evokes an 80s opulence with modern silhouettes- what is it about that era that resonates with you?
The 80s feels like a dream to me. I can still smell the Lanvin Arpège that my mother wore when she went out on date night with Dad. I remember that once she was gone I would sneak into her bathroom so that I could get my hands on the giant makeup palettes of eyeshade in her top drawer. There was at least 30 colours just on the one palette in the most beautiful colours! I look back to that era and love the elements of glamour that were brought into daily life.
This season I decided to bring some of that glamour subtly into the ELLERY wardrobe.
Why was it important for you to shoot the look book and film in Paris, particularly the decision to use the Australian Embassy? How did you decide on the location?
The first time that I visited the Australian Embassy in Paris I was obsessed. I love architecture and even more so I love, love Brutalist architecture.
Australian Architect Harry Seidler who designed the Embassy in 1977 is a rock star and so is Brendan Berne, the Australian Ambassador to France who personally invited us into his home to make our film. What a guy, right?
I have always wanted to shoot at the Embassy, the monolithic building felt like the perfect fit for our Fall 20 collection. During the shoot the models looked like they were getting ready to throw a cocktail party, it was so fun.
How did the collaboration between you and Kinga Burza come about?
Over the years we have showed our collections on the runways of Paris and Australian Fashion Weeks, but recently I started experimenting with different ways to present to the global audience. I wanted to communicate in a modern way with something that was created specifically for our digital community.
For the launch of this new ELLERY collection when we decided to create this film (or as we call it, a digital défilé) I immediately thought of Kinga. I felt that she was the perfect person to capture the collection because not only does she know ELLERY since its first inception, but also is an ELLERY woman herself.
Kinga and I have been friends since we were in our early twenties and first met when we worked together as shop girls in Sydney and have remained friends ever since.
Actually, my first trip to Paris was with Kinga way, way back then. I asked her if she would like to join me to travel through Europe as I planned to attend summer school in St. Martins, London. At first she said no but then later had a change of heart and off we went! We had such a ball. That trip really changed the course of our lives forever and we both now live in the same arrondissement in Paris.
Do you feel Ellery is still quintessentially Australian in aesthetic and feel? Is it important to you to keep those roots?
I think that it is important to be proud of your roots - I know that I am.
ELLERY is an Australian brand and always will be at its core, however in saying that I don’t think that ELLERY has ever been quintessentially Australian in aesthetic.
When I created ELLERY I pictured the woman who would wear the brand and I always had in mind a global woman. She is ageless, fearless and is a citizen of the world. Fashion is a way that she communicates and she curates her wardrobe as if it is art. I can see her in so many different cities around the world.
What was your creative process when approaching this collection?
My creative process changes each season as the brand evolves. I’ve always adapted myself in a way that is most complimentary to my environment at the time. This can be challenging to constantly change your approach but for me that feels like it is part of the journey.
I love to look through my old sketches and library of draping and research to find inspiration and after 13 years there is so much that I still want to explore.
Where do you see this collection being worn? Is it first and foremost for the busy career woman?
I want to give women clothes for every occasion but yes, there is absolutely a strong focus on presenting a collection for the ambitious woman.
As a woman in this modern age there are so many things that we need to be doing and so many hats to wear. With each collection I also think about what I personally want to wear so that I can continue to build the perfect wardrobe that will carry you where you want to go.
There’s a balanced mix of eveningwear and power suits in this collection, as well as leather and softer fabrics in pastel hues. Is the Ellery woman always feminine with an edge?
She sure is!
ELLERY is about a balance of both masculine and feminine tailoring and hard and soft draping - this collection is no exception.
She is elegant and soft but also uncompromising. The ELLERY woman comes in so many forms and it’s up to her to choose who she wants to be that day. I hope that in this collection she can find it.
FILM Sylvian Lewis