Pamela Easton and Lydia Pearson of Brisbane-based label Easton Pearson established their design partnership in 1989 when the former friends came together to 'create clothes with soul' (as described in Harper's Bazaar, March 2000) .
They wanted to bring all the things they loved in life to their designs, resulting in an eclectic marrying of influences, from their passion for vintage and traditional textiles to their love of old movies and characters from books.
Their rich romantic clothes feature beautifully handcrafted embroidered, beaded, appliquéd and sequinned fabrics. They design the clothes and all the decorative detail and pattern on their textiles and have a small workroom in Mumbai, India, of highly skilled artisans who do most of the embroidery and beading.
Easton Pearson's design concept - extracting the essence
Fan skirt - 'We were attracted by the shape, colour, and texture of the fan. We have been working with raffia embroidery on calico for a few seasons and could picture an extension of the work we had done.
'The flare of the skirt is referential to the shape of the fan. The raffia colour and texture mirrors the straw of the fan. The looping at the hipline was transferred from the pom-pom on the fan. We had used that looping previously on the hem of a raffia skirt. We bound the edge of the skirt with reddish pink raffia overstitch, as in the rigid oval fan. The length and shape of the skirt makes it look rather like a traditional dancing skirt from Asia or the Pacific Islands.
Striped calico bodice with hand tacking - 'We have been looking at the inside construction of old garments for many years and love the obvious hand stitching that often appears on the lining. Indeed the linings themselves often hold more appeal than the more ornate outer layer. We have done a lot of work with hand stitching on calico in the past and it was easy to extract the essence of this garment and marry it with our current themes.
'We loved the shape of the little Balkan tunic: it fits with a silhouette that we have been working on for 2002. As there was no chance of finding a beautiful striped calico similar to the lining, we devised the idea of running machine stitch rows in two colours on the base cloth before we commenced the hand tacking.
'Taking both the naive patterns that appear on the lining as a result of the braid being attached to the outer layer in patterns, and also the hand tacked rows that hold the two layers together, we configured the hand tacked pattern on to our own tunic shape. The garment needed some reference to the more ornate outer layer and so we used some metal katori sequins (one of our very constant materials) at random, loosely attached by the tacking. This gave the garment an air of dilapidated grandeur whilst still retaining the naivety of the original tunic lining.' - Pamela Easton and Lydia Pearson