Kym Ellery’s venue choice was as risky as it was sublime, what with the art (a Francis Bacon above the fireplace, two works from Matisse by the stairs), a Japanese garden, and an upper-level lap pool—all within the Paris apartment once belonging to Kenzo Takada. What if people paid more attention to the setting than the clothes?

As it turns out, Ellery’s elongated, architectural silhouettes punctuated the space like dynamic exclamation points, and the addition of a wall covered in gypsophila for the presentation backdrop positioned much-maligned baby’s breath in a whole new light. The Australian designer name-checked Egon Schiele for this Fall collection, saying that it materialized from visualizing the clothes that might have made up the wardrobe of his famous nudes. Designers often cite artists as inspiration, but this came across as an inspired conceit. You could easily picture those early-20th-century women accepting these generous yet progressively feminine shapes minimally adorned with ceramic disks handmade by Ellery’s mother. The designer’s ongoing pursuit of specialty fabrics—such as wool flecked with sequins, and laser-cut coppery Lurex stitched into fringed rows on silk georgette, both from Jakob Schlaepfer in Switzerland—translated into a certain vintage-future timelessness, which she acknowledged. “Generally, I think I have a nostalgic sensibility,” she said. “I wanted to give [Schiele’s models] something that would help them step into our era.”

That Ellery has yet to exhaust the enlarged pants, by now a signature, suggested an eye for micro detail: The smallest alteration modified a belled bottom into a fresher funnel. She claimed they originated from a point of comfort, but they also happened to overshadow anything in their midst.

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