Paris is said to be the style capital of the world, and as far as fashion weeks go, it's the top dog.
Rapper turned designer Kanye West copped a lot of flak for showing his debut collection at the prestigious French shows in 2011 -- with many of fashion's elite arguing that he simply didn't deserve a place.
One designer who has earned her place at the top of the international fashion ladder is Australian Designer Kym Ellery. Known for her unusual silhouettes and monochrome colour palette, Ellery spoke to The Huffington Post Australia ahead of her show at Paris Fashion Week, where the wares by her namesake will be shown amongst fashion greats such as Louis Vuitton and Chanel.
How did you get started designing?
"I grew up in Perth, Western Australia -- one of the most remote cities in the world. This allowed me lots of time to focus on art, sewing and design. My mother was an artist and continually dedicated her time to developing my skills, for which I will always be grateful.
"My first job was at RUSSH, an independent glossy fashion magazine and it was the perfect introduction to the industry. Two years into my four-year tenure I felt the need to explore my own creative project and a women's collection named ELLERY was born.
"In the initial years, ELLERY was a hobby as I remained part of the fashion team at RUSSH, but it was not long before ELLERY had grown to a point where it needed my full time attention
"Eight years on, ELLERY has grown into brand with global reach that remains true to its mission -- to promote empowerment of women through luxury design."
When did you first show in Paris?
"My first ever Paris fashion week show was in September 2013. We showed in the Salle des Tirages de l’Hôtel d’Évreux Place Vendôme.
"We flew our entire team from Australia along with the collection just days before the show. After many weeks of putting the finishing touches on the collection in our Sydney atelier it was a relief to land with it completed on French soil. It felt like the half way mark of a marathon was completed.
"Looking back to that time two years ago it is like that was my apprenticeship for what lies ahead. I am so content in making Paris the home for my collections and I can't wait to continue to release my work there each season."
How did showing in Paris come about?
"I have loved France ever since I was young girl and named my first pet rabbit 'Lapin'. When I launched ELLERY many years ago my goal was to eventually show my work as part of Paris Fashion Week. I began to bring my collection to Paris for showroom showings since 2012 and at that time met with Dider Grumbach from the Chambres Syndicale. He encouraged me to continue on my global growth and so I did."
Are you preparing for this years show differently to others?
"Having done a few events in Paris I no longer feel so intimidated by the challenge. Over the past few years I have continued to invest in my team. My team is everything, without great people, committed to a single goal, underpinned by values we would not have excelled in the way we have."
What can we expect from the collection?
"My collection is inspired by a specific work by French Artists Christo and Jean-Claude entitled "Wrapped Coast". Christo and Jean-Claude came to Australia and proceeded to wrap the entire cliff side of Little Bay -- an Australian section of coastline.
"I wanted to explore the idea of wrapping the body as they wrapped the rocky cliffs and use that idea to rework cut concepts that we have become known for."
Why is showing in Paris so prestigious, do you think?
"Paris is the birthplace of fashion, specifically luxury fashion. I think that people come there specifically to see innovation married with garment construction of the highest quality."
Which Australian designers do you admire?
"Australia has a really diverse fashion landscape and there are so many designers and each with a different point of view to one another.
"I love the work of Christopher Esber. There is something very poetic about his work. I also love what Strateas Carlucci are doing too. It's clean and dark and I like that in garments."
Who is the Ellery customer?
"She is intelligent. She wants to wear garments that make her feel comfortable; through fit, cut and quality. She values how she is presented and she is always working on building a timeless wardrobe of modern classics."Suggest a correction