Designer Jenia Kim released a capsule collection, inspired by the history of the Pearly Kings and Queens (known as Pearlies) – the charity organization founded in London in the XIX century. Their philosophy is about enjoying life regardless anything and helping those in need. One of the brightest distinctive features of the Pearly Kings and Queens are costumes richly decorated with mother-of-pearl buttons, that became the main reference of the collection.
The main character of the collection is a girl from Korea; she got into the family of Pearly Kings and Queens when she was a baby. The girl wants to be like her adoptive parents in everything so she embroiders her t-shirts with mother-of-pearl buttons and encrypts them with messages using imaginary language – a mix of Korean and Russian. (The Pearly Kings and Queens came from street vendors who invented their secret Cockney language). The words the girl “writes” on t-shirts are a transcription of Russian phrases with the help of Korean alphabet. Russian-Korean speakers only are able to read the messages on t-shirts.
Jenia went to London to meet and invite one of the most influential Pearly King George to take part in the project. Despite his considerable age (George is 80 years old) he cheerfully posed wearing his 20-kilogram suit and inspired with his optimism. Together with photographer Katya Turkina (Turkina Faso) Jenia succeeded to visually convey the idea of the collection.
The capsule collection includes t-shirts with encrypted messages “I am a Pearly Princess”, “The world loves me” and “Relax” as well as bandanas with stylized Uzbek patterns.
Part of the money from sales will be transferred to George’s fund to contribute his dream come true – to build a museum of Pearly Kings and Queens and to do good deeds.