Exploring the impact of internationally-acclaimed fashion house Easton Pearson on Australian fashion history, Museum of Brisbane presents more than 200 garments, each technically and creatively ground-breaking, in The Designers’ Guide: Easton Pearson Archive, on display until April 2019.
The exhibition showcases the most daring technical innovations, fabric and embellishment choices of the fashion house over its 28 years and will be complemented by sketches, accessories, samples, look books, photographs, interviews and anecdotes from the designers.
The Designers’ Guide: Easton Pearson Archive also reveals the leading role Easton Pearson played at the forefront of slow fashion and ethical manufacture, working closely with artists, artisans and workshops across India and Vietnam to ensure good conditions, fair pay and respectful collaborations.
Chair Sallyanne Atkinson AO said Museum of Brisbane is home to the Easton Pearson Archive which, comprising more than 3,300 garments and more than 5,000 objects, accessories and ephemera, is the largest collection from a single Australian fashion house held by a public art gallery or museum.
“From their base in Brisbane, Easton Pearson took their unique designs to the world, showing in Paris from 1997 and stocked by Browns in London, New York’s Bergdorf Goodman, L’Eclaireur in Paris, Joyce in Hong Kong and David Jones across Australia, as well as Japan, Italy and the Middle East at the brand’s height,” said Mrs Atkinson.
“Through their bright, boldly-patterned and eclectically embellished designs, they invited women across the globe to enjoy our beautiful Brisbane lifestyle and developed a cult following that continues today.”
MoB Director Renai Grace said the Museum had been preparing for The Designers’ Guide: Easton Pearson Archive since receiving the collection in 2017.
“Pamela Easton and Lydia Pearson were the storytellers of Australian fashion. Their unique approach referenced art, travel, film, literature and music to create a bold aesthetic characterised by daring patterns, innovative materials, meticulous techniques and a sustainable ethos,” said Ms Grace.
“Their designs remain cutting-edge, even today, due to Easton Pearson’s experimental, demi-couture processes and their passion for creating bespoke textiles, prints and embellishments as diverse as champagne bottle tops, raffia, silver thread and sequins, copper chain, felt, feathers and beads of almost every variety.
“Due to the richness of the resources we have in the Archive, this exhibition is a deep-dive into their processes and approach. It will allow visitors to truly appreciate the intersection of art, fashion and culture and the techniques, some thousands of years old, that were adapted and explored by Easton Pearson.
“The Designers’ Guide: Easton Pearson Archive will be an inspiring experience for all lovers of fashion and an eyeopening one for those wanting to know more about the role of fashion in art, craft, design and culture.”
The complete collection of internationally acclaimed fashion house Easton Pearson, comprising more than 3300 signature garments, was gifted to Museum of Brisbane by Brisbane philanthropist and contemporary art patron Dr Paul Eliadis in 2017. The Archive also includes more than 5000 objects and ephemera such as sketches, accessories, samples, look books, press clippings, photographs and runway footage.
Easton Pearson is arguably Brisbane’s most successful design company. From the launch of the label in 1988 to its close in 2016, Easton Pearson’s eclectic, boldly patterned and embellished fashions graced catwalks and showrooms across Europe, the Middle East, Asia, America and Australia. Dr Eliadis gifted the Easton Pearson Archive through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program.
The Designers’ Guide: Easton Pearson Archive
Museum of Brisbane, Level 3 – City Hall, King George Square, Brisbane
Exhibition continues to 22 April 2019
Admission fees apply
For more information, visit: www.museumofbrisbane.com.au for details.
Image: Lydia Pearson and Pamela Easton – courtesy of Museum of Brisbane