Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Clever Dressing.

You know what irks me? When magazines smugly subtitle an image by explaining that 'it's called clever dressing.' I felt compelled to ugh about it to you because a. it's a relatively recent development in the grand lineage of Fashionspeak (for a comprehensive guide, see previous posts one and two on the matter) and b. if there was such a thing as 'clever dressing', surely it would involve wearing a jumper with a tongue-in-cheek reference to Elsa Schiaparelli or, you know, Deleuze or someone, rather than just being another synonym for 'we think this is nice.'

Anyway, there is a point to my grouching, really. Because I think one Australian designer who actually IS being clever and whose designs DO warrant the term (minus the smug, please) is Kym Ellery. I think that her work is clever because each collection has a few features that distinguish it as an Ellery collection, while feeling fresh and interesting every time. Some key Ellery touches are a preponderance of luxe fabrics (leather always makes an appearance, feathers often do, and Kym is no stranger to glass beading and brocades) as well as a distinctive sculpted shoulder and waist silhouette. It's little wonder the label has a devoted following after only two years.

Aside from the clothes themselves, those behind this label have been savvy about creating a world around it- to go to the website is to go to 'elleryland' and each season they produce the 'Ellery Gazette', a compilation of images that inspired the collection (reminiscent of what Phoebe Philo does at Celine, and there's a comparison to be proud of.) Also, after having worked at RUSSH for four years prior to establishing her own label, Kym Ellery is obviously well aware of the power of a well-crafted image as the following Resort '11 lookbook can attest. I first came across these images a couple of months ago but didn't post them, apologies for being late to the party, style blogosphere. They're too good not to share now.

Photographer: Darren McDonald
Model: Kim Noorda
Creative Director: Kym Ellery
Hair and Make-up: Romina Manenti & Tiina Roivainen
images and credits via Oyster  

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