Deadly Ponies new Pearlies bag (left) and Peckham’s Pearly King and Queen (right). Images supplied.
It’s not unusual for Deadly Ponies to find inspiration for their collections in some curious places and their new Winter 2017 collection called Pearlies is one of their most wonderfully clever ranges yet. East London is home to the Pearly Kingdom which is where the brand found their new season muses in the Pearly Kings and Queens that have been part of London’s Cockney history since the 19th century.
The story goes that Henry Croft, an orphan street sweeper-cum-revered charity supporter, collected the lost pearl buttons from costermonger’s attire, in order to fashion his now-celebrated Pearly suit. His giving nature and eccentric outfit quickly gathered a following, eventually giving rise to the Pearly Society. Aside from the eye-catching mother-of-pearl buttons which adorn their outfits, the Pearly Society are known for their charity initiatives which help the underprivileged and it’s their generosity of spirit as well as their unique style which inspired Deadly Ponies Creative Director Liam Bowden. The brand will be donating all the proceeds of the ‘Lucky Charm’ bag charm in this collection to Lifewise, which is the New Zealand social development agency working to house the homeless.
“When I travel overseas, homelessness is an issue that people tend to overlook – we should do everything we can to stop that happening here” he says. “In New Zealand, our homelessness problem is increasing at an alarming rate. Everyone deserves to have a place they can call home, and this project gives us an opportunity to pitch in and help to house New Zealanders in need.”
“Access to housing is a basic human right,” adds Victoria Hearn, who leads Lifewise ’s Service Design & Development for Youth Housing. “Without a safe place to live, it is difficult for young people to access education, gain employment and be independent. I love that Deadly Ponies are acknowledging the very real issue of homelessness in New Zealand and that they’re using their new Pearlies collection to do their bit to help improve outcomes for vulnerable Kiwi youth. It is support like this that allows us to continue our work with young people supporting them to reach their goals, develop life skills, and secure permanent accommodation.”
The collection itself perfectly encapsulates the Cockney spirit with the gorgeous mother of pearl buttons adorning woven wool felt, deer nappa and lamb skin bags and accessories in khaki and black. Mr Porter Pearly and Mr Teddy Pearly feature the charming buttons handstitched into designs that form diamond patterns and a horse-head motif. The Pearlies pieces were shot on location in London at quintessential East London spots with Peckham’s Pearly King and Queen who lend their Pearly authenticity to the campaign.
Pearlies is available at Deadly Ponies stores, stockists and online now.