Easton Pearson have created a lasting legacy with their one-off, ethical designs. The Museum of Brisbane is running an exhibition of over 3,000 curated items from their archives, showcasing this unique design team’s approach to fashion, including some behind the scenes insights into their creative processes.
With a love of travel and a unique perspective on the design process, Pamela Easton and Lydia Pearson contributed their designs to the fashion world for 28 years, eventually closing their doors in 2016.
I went along to the Museum of Brisbane showcase exhibiting Easton Pearson, which closes on 22 April 2019. I was amazed the display of creativity of the exhibition and found myself marvelling at the longevity of their partnership and the exoticness of their creations.
Especially fascinating was to read about the origins of their inspirations. Whether from a Uzbekistani grooms wedding jacket from the 1800s (the Mato Jacket) or the Wieiner Werkstatte – the Viennese design movement from the 1900s (the Pommery Dress), the places, people, and events which shaped Easton Pearson’s designs are sure to intrigue.
Throughout the exhibition are tablets which give you more information about each of the garments. You can tap on the tablet and pick a garment you’re interested to learn about, and up will come a variety of info to background the design and origins of the piece, sometimes including photographs. Such a fun way to get a peek ‘behind the curtain’ of such an inventive and inspired process!
Easton Pearson began their partnership in Brisbane in 1989. They had a Brisbane workshop as well as retail stores. Their designs were known for artisanal techniques including hand printed textiles, intricate embroidery, beading and fabric manipulation. Influenced by historical and international methods of textile production, Lydia and Pamela often scouted flea markets in Paris and Mumbai for inspiration. In addition to their base in Brisbane, they also worked often in Hanoi and Mumbai, as well as remote areas of India.
Attention to ethical production and unique points of detail became a signature of the Easton Pearson production ethos. Originality and quality were always prioritised over quantity. Easton Pearson are considered a design house with a real commitment to ‘slow fashion’.
Many of the garments on display in the Museum of Brisbane Exhibition are samples – first iterations of a piece to sell the collection. Throughout the Exhibition are display cases showing original design documents, sketches, and fabric samples, really giving you the feeling of getting inside the design process – at least a little bit.
From the softer, subtler colour schemes to the vibrancy of primary colours and bold prints, thrown in with unexpected textures and embellishment, this Exhibition is a feast for the senses and the imagination.
Discover more about the Easton Pearson aesthetic and their Style Type here.