I was fortunate enough recently to sit in on a Q and A session with Lydia Pearson and Pamela Easton (of Easton Pearson) at Brisbane's Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA). What I love about these two women is that they are so passionate about what they do yet are still down to earth (love the pineapples). They keep their workroom in Brisbane and with a sense of cheekiness they discuss their crafty take on fashion, talk about artisan's rights in India and hint at the craziness that is Paris fashion week. The exhibition itself is a wonderful showcase of their collections over the 20 year history of this creative partnership.
Things I learnt: that they commission alot of embellishment work with artisans in India. Most of the embellished work is done to shape - which means they basically have the pattern traced out onto the base fabrics and the artisans do the embellishments exactly to shape - so there is no wasting of the artisan's time or workmanship. This means that there are not many rolls of fabrics being produced and there is very little wastage. Also if a garment is to be heavily ornate, they'll often use a very plain base cloth - even calico has been used, so that the hand work takes centre stage.
The Workroom space in the bit where kids get to play and adults get to be kids. You're provided with a cardboard cutout doll (male or female)...
...and you get to fashion them some new clothes from Easton Pearson printed paper and clothing templates that you can use as is or 'modify' to your tastes!
Once you're finished you can display them on a lit up catwalk! I wonder what Anna Wintour would make of it all?