Set in moody autumnal tones — they included ink blue, grape, rust and deep black — Kym Ellery’s fall collection explored a dark and controversial chapter in female dressing: the corset. “But: I wanted to explore how it could become relevant to a modern woman,” the designer noted backstage, before releasing the item’s trademark barriers into total freedom.


The corset’s lacing flew off the sides of a sensual turn-of-the-century dress done in nude satin — minus the actual cinching. On a handsome robe coat, featuring embroideries along the hems, which harkened back at artisanal corsetry, the item intrigued as a wide belt, deliberately left unbuttoned; while on a roomy coat’s sleeves, it was reduced to mere ornament without function.


Ellery’s mantra: When it gets too stiff or hampers movement, as on one men’s shirt strapped just below the model’s bust, counterbalance it with extra-large volumes, and why not, coming from bold, puffy sleeves and extra-extra-flared denim pants. “It’s a little feminist,“ she divulged, although the bondage briefly reappeared on leather ankle boots and open-toe sandals, pieces from Ellery’s debut footwear line.


Eventually, the conflicting impulses of constraint and liberty climaxed in a fiery lamé dress with no boundaries — but a seductive plunging neckline.