She hung up her heels ten years ago but Australian supermodel Gemma Ward returned to the Australian catwalk to officially open Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at the ELLERY show on Sunday night.

Kym Ellery’s eponymous label, which launched eight years ago, saw guests treated to a special performance by The Australian Ballet as well as a runway appearance by retired 90s supermodel Emma Balfour who closed the catwalk.

While many of the silk, suede and brocade bell-sleeve and flare pieces were shown during Paris Fashion Week last month, the audience which included Nicole Trunfio, Justin O’Shea and Jessica Mauboy didn’t mind in the least.

The truth is it’s hard not to get behind [Kym] Ellery. She’s a kind soul who has got an eye for detail – including hair and makeup.

Backstage, Michelle McQuillan, Hair Director for Redken, explained that her role was “enhancing what texture [the models’] hair already has”.

“The Ellery clothes are quite structured and strong silhouettes, so to compliment that, we’re just making the models’ hair look really natural and lived in. It has a really effortless feel to it.”

Makeup, on the other side, also retained subtle nuances but with a pleasant surprise.

“The make-up concept was about something that was fresh, youthful and pretty with a little bit of a boyish bushy eyebrow, and then we just wanted an element of uniqueness,” says Gordon Espinet, Makeup Director for MAC. “At first Kym wanted a white eyeliner but the idea then evolved into something more asymetrical and graphic. It’s really soft and it’s not about a white line; instead it’s about a translucent white that the skin still shows through. We’ve filled the eyebrows in and used little to no foundation – we used the MAC Mineralize Timecheck Lotion, which is a moisturiser and primer and blurs everything out.” Adding, “It’s really about the models not looking overly done but adding an element of something.”

On nails, two coats of OPI Nail Lacquer in Put It In Neutral were painted on. “It’s very sheer and sophisticated but equally understated, which suits the entire ELLERY collection perfectly,” says Melisa Giraldo, Nail Director for OPI. “We also filed the girls’ nails into a long oval shape to lengthen the hands.”

Closing the parade in a shower of silver confetti, a rapturous applause from showgoers and an appearance from a disgruntled neighbour who mildly interrupted [Kym] Ellery’s joyous skip down the runway, Katy Perry put it perfectly: “Baby, you’re a firework.” For this designer, at least.

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Liked the way the liner as used, not harsh or obvious.

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