Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane
I bought my first Easton and Pearson creation back in the late 80’s when they produced clothes under the Bow and Arrow label. I still have all my old Easton and Pearson clothes and although I may not wear them anymore I cannot bring myself to throw them away, even donate them to a worthy cause or sell them on Ebay. They form a part of my personal legend.
I have visited all the places in the world that have influenced their work and I have developed a close bond toward their design ethos. Yet I haven’t bought any of the overtly ethnic influenced clothes mainly because I tend to wear a simpler palette and concentrate on accessories. This suits my lifestyle of being a traveller. However this does not prevent me from continuing to admire their work or from buying on occasion an Easton Pearson ‘statement’ outfit.
I admire Easton and Pearson for having the guts to produce some formal gowns in ‘lower class’ textiles; take the stunning yellow empire style evening dress with silver embroidery, its made of muslin so you cannot get any simpler than that. A French designer would not be able to restrain themselves the luxuriousness of silk chiffon to realise that gown. But what they do have in common with French couture houses is that they collaborate with designers, artists and craftspeople to produce many of the fabrics, accessories and embellishments.
This survey exhibition at GoMA Gallery of Modern Art is skilfully displayed throughout several galleries and its presentation is as appealing as any fashion dioramas (described as islands by its curator) I have seen at Paris’s Louvre.
Easton and Pearson are on a world stage now because they had the foresight and tenacity to pitch and launch their label overseas without any big backers. It is also a credit to GoMA to have honoured these designers in their creative lifetime, right now with a significant showcase that will not only look back at their history and influences but project them further afield toward inspiring future generations of designers.
Exhibition dates 22 August – 8 November 2009