The Pearly Kings and Queens of London are magnificent. A tradition started in the 1800's, it continues to this day.
Each Pearly King and Queen fundraise for a particular charity. While newcomers have joined the movement, for
many it's a tradition that has been passed down through the generations. Their garments are covered in mother of
pearl buttons, some with as many as 13,000 hand-stitched into place. There are noticeable symbols, such as the
horseshoe for good luck and the anchor for hope.
The pearlies have inspired countless costume and fashion designers. If you are a White Stripes fan, you probably
already noticed the pearly influence in the costumes worn Meg and Jack White for their album Icky Thump.
I love this work by Temperley London for their Spring/Summer, 2010 collection. While not all the garments are covered in buttons, you can certainly see the graphics connections.
"Pearly Queen" made by Savile Row tailors for the Victorian and Albert Museum exhibition Power of Makingis a delightful visual pun with the classic profile of young Queen Elizabeth II worked in buttons.