The New Craft: Symonds Pearmain

The New Craft: Symonds Pearmain

Spotlighting designers boldly disrupting the status quo.

Spotlighting designers boldly disrupting the status quo.

Photography: Tyrone Lebon

Text: Devin Barrett

This article originally appears in the pages of V111, on newsstands now and available to order at vmagazineshop.com

Symonds Pearmain, a complex London-based collaboration between designer Anthony Symonds and stylist Max Pearmain, blurs many lines. Is it clothing? Is it art? Moreover, does it matter? The duo’s work is intriguing, fun, and “about curiosity, pleasure, enjoyment,” Symonds explains.

“The fashion context is very, very rigid,” Symonds says. “We were interested to see if we could reinvigorate the creative process, to make the product interesting and compelling, but also add in layers of meaning, and—in a way—sincerity.” Luxurious track pants, sweatshirts, and the like make up the range of unisex casualwear, each piece with a twist: crotchless track pants and asymmetrical tops that reveal an exposed breast, for example.

The duo’s first presentation, “Retail Baroque,” teetered on the theatrical. Lily McMenamy sauntered around the Horse Hospital, an underground club in London, interacting with the crowd as she danced, posed, and smoked—each look embodied a different character. “We didn’t know what she was going to do,” Pearmain recalls. “It wasn’t product-led, it was moment-led.” Pearmain and Symonds work in the framework of art: Collections are sold by appointment through galleries, eschewing the seasonal fashion cycle.

Symonds Pearmain’s multidimensional, energetic work is an exciting anomaly in the cluttered fashion sphere. “It’s about having a kind of rarefaction, but it’s also about establishing a relationship with people, a degree of intimacy,” Symonds says. The twosome strive to spark conversations through their work, creating a meaningful connection with the consumer.

Per Pearmain, the label is built on passion and optimism: “We’re both joyously associated with clothes. It’s a positive experience about positive fashion.” Symonds agrees and adds, “For me, freedom comes from a playfulness that’s mischievous.”

UP NEXT

Alexandre Vauthier x Alain Mikli Took Couture to the Club For SS18