Kym Ellery: A day in the life …




Kym Ellery, the talented designer behind one of Australia’s most beloved young labels, Ellery. i-D spent 24-hours with this prolific creative as she reveals her inspirations, her muse, what to expect in the next collection, her love of photography vs. fashion and below talks about ‘Ellery in Paris’; her recent venture in film.


i-D: You’ve spent a lot of time in front of the camera recently, how have you found it ?

Kym: It was a little confrontational at first. I was quite focused on the task at hand so Patrick {Ellery in Paris director} was only noticeable for the first half hour when I got off the flight from Sydney to Paris. We spent a lot of time together during car rides just chatting – it was a nice transitional period for me to get used to his presence, and also his other camera. It wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be.

i-D: How did it feel when you first saw it ?

Kym: The first time I saw the film I was at work and it was two in the morning . Patrick sent me the link and my assistant was working late with me – she’s in the film her name’s Danny. We watched the first half and her ride came to pick her up, she was like: “Can you not watch the rest of it until I get back?”. I just couldn’t stop I had to keep watching and ended up sitting at my desk crying because it was just a unique portrayal of the special people in my life. It was really touching to see that ingrained in film for the rest of time – how committed everyone was to this cause and making beautiful work.

i-D: Like the world’s best home movies.

Kym: Definitely, there was magic in how tired we all were. There’s some hilarious footage of my boyfriend who isn’t so traditional to his approach in fashion. He’s a designer now but was a pro surfer, but he is a boy and the way he does things is quite funny.


i-D: There’s been a move towards fashion film, is it important for a label’s fans to have a sense of the designer ?

Kym: It depends on the brand. I think brands rely on the person behind them, especially at a consumer level. People like to know where things come from and who’s responsible for them – there’s a new sense of responsibility and people want to know what they’re buying into.

i-D: Do you guys have plans to release it internationally ?

Kym: I know it will be screened in cinemas around Australia and New Zealand through September onwards. Following that it will be on Virgin aircrafts internationally and it’s going to be on iTunes globally.

i-D: Paris Fashion Week is the biggest fashion event in the world – did being part of it change the way you viewed the fashion industry ? 

Kym: It definitely can be intimidating, but you have to put that aside and focus on what you want to get out of the project. It hasn’t changed my perception as much as it’s given me a renewed focus on what my goal is. I started seven years ago and wanted to take the brand to Paris – that was always my intention. It was really surreal, I didn’t know what to expect and was super nervous about what to do. I just wanted to have a clear head moving forward.


i-D: You have a great relationship with Paris. What is it about the city you find the most inspiring ?

Kym: The general energy is really positive and there’s a sense of culture and history I feel being there. There’s just an incredible aesthetic in their day-to-day lives I have a real respect for. I think being Australian – and Australia being such a young country – it’s the opposite of what you find in Europe. The history they have is incredibly rich and I find that really novel.

i-D: Would you ever consider living there ?

Kym: I would like to live there but with my business being based in Sydney it’s not practical. One day I’d like to expand my business to have more offices globally. I was saying to someone this morning, “It’s not a race, it’s a journey”. I really am enjoying the journey and taking it slowly. There’s nothing worse than being a flash in the pan or not creating something with solid foundations.

i-D: Talking about journeys, is there anywhere you’re dying to go ?

Kym: I’ve been thinking about that lately because I’m dying for a holiday. Mexico would be interesting, or Morocco, those places fascinate me. I would love to go to the south of Italy and check it out – I’ve heard it’s amazing. I like anything sort of seaside, so I think that would be cool.

i-D: Those are good choices. You’ve developed a reputation for clever design and your great eye for fabrics. What are you looking at at the moment in terms of your inspiration for your next collection ?

Kym: The next collection is still in developmental stages. I’m looking at elements of nature and science.

i-D: When you feel creatively exhausted is there anything you look to, to jump-start the process ?

Kym: I go to water. Just being in a body of water is really nourishing for your mind and your soul. I also go to art galleries to come up with any sense of inspiration and remind myself of what I want to achieve with my creative vision.


i-D: We’ve been talking about the professional side of your life. When you’re as busy as you are, what does a Saturday night look like ? 

Kym: It depends on my schedule. Four times a year make a collection, get on a plane, and travel for four to six weeks selling it – which is sort of fun. Saturday night I could be in New York and I’ll go out and have a ball with my girlfriends. When I’m in Sydney I’m working and focused – when I travel I’m having a great time because most of my friends have lift Australia to pursue their careers in various cities around the world. Saturday night in Sydney is fairly guiet. Bottle of red wine on the couch.

i-D: I like the sound of that. You did some art work for Wendy James’ new album, how did that come about ?

Kym: We’re working on it now actually. Wendy’s quite amazing. She likes to write emails so it’s really quite intense as a process but I love her to bits. She’s amazing and so smart. I saw her in New York and talked about it, I say ” When you’re in Paris next, I can take some photos of you.” Then she say, “Would you shoot my album cover”, and I was like, “Of course!”.

i-D: Did photography or fashion come first for you ?

Kym: Probably art then fashion. I always felt frustrated not having a camera in my hand. I picked up the camera in New York and shot Hannah Holman for our Ellery campaign a few years ago. After that I was like, oh this isn’t too difficult. I just need an assistant that can do light readings and things I don’t know much about. It’s really fun then, hiring an assistant who’s some legend, hanging out, and taking photos. It’s cool. It’s good.

Images and text via: i-D 

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