Gift of entire Easton Pearson fashion collection to museum ‘transformational’

A self-taught pattern maker and a fashion buyer created a world-renowned clothing label in Brisbane 28 years ago. Now a philanthropist has donated the entire collection - about 3300 garments - to Museum of Brisbane and the hope is that it will inspire the next Easton Pearson.

image: Formal Gowns

“Brisbane for me I think was the natural home of the collection,” said the donor, Dr Paul Eliadis.

An outfit from the Easton Pearson show during the third day of the Rosemount Australian Fashion Week Spring/Summer …

An outfit from the Easton Pearson show during the third day of the Rosemount Australian Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2008/09 event in Sydney. Photo: Ian Waldie

“You might think a donation’s free, so why wouldn’t you want it? But it costs a huge amount of money and it’s an enormous logistical exercise to accept 3000-odd garments and all of the books and ephemera that go with it,” she said.

Last year, founders Lydia Pearson and Pamela Easton announced the decision to close Easton Pearson for family reasons.

The complete archive was acquired from Pearson and Easton by Dr Eliadis, who said it was a critical part of Australia’s design history.

A major retrospective of the Easton Pearson collection is tentatively planned for the end of 2018, but besides that Ms Grace said part of the agreement made with Dr Eliadis when accepting the archive was that parts of it would always be on display, and that it would also be used as a resource for students of fashion, design and art.

“One of the most significant outcomes for us will be if it helps students of any discipline understand as they finish their studies they don’t have to leave to make a career, and they can make an international career from here,” she said.

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