Ellery Resort Collection 2021

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During the lockdown, Kym Ellery took the opportunity to look, really look, at the collections she has presented at a breakneck pace since transporting her brand to Paris four years ago. 

These included: Did she want to go on designing at all? (“There was a time of doubting it all, absolutely.”) Then came: If Ellery continued, how would it change? (“Through learning to be grateful, exploring the identity and intention of the brand, and using the time of quietness to define what I want to bring to the future.”)

And how would she characterize the upshot of these contemplations? (“Comfort and ease of dressing are really desired now…it’s not about dressing up too much, and certainly not about ‘event dressing,’ but about being versatile. What remains important is the act of getting dressed; that remains a big part of my life, to wake up and want to put on a beautiful look that gives me energy and confidence.”)

The result, much of it crafted with deadstock from past collections, is a portfolio of clothing in which Ellery worked to retain the essence of her aesthetic while stripping away the superfluous.

Preserved was her penchant for full-skirted dresses lent difference with asymmetric hemlines or empoweringly strong shoulders but presented in a tightly arranged range of fabrications spanning leather and cotton. As well as the fabrics, many of the designs were repurposed from those previous 16 Parisian presentations, part of a conscious process of revisiting and reviving that Ellery undertook via consultation with trusted confidantes about their most-cherished archive pieces.

Restrained lace detailing played against an overwhelmingly monochromatic palette—with lilac and sky-blue exceptions—and Ellery returned to her beefily shouldered, high-waisted jacket shapes in a tailored counterbalance to the loosely swooshy dress proposals. As for many other independent designers, this season represents a moment of relative stillness before spring 2021’s promise of a repurposed reemergence.

Ellery hinted that hers will represent a considerable shift in both process and product, revealing more answers to those big 2020 questions.