New East Digital Archive

This Russian fashion collection pays homage to London’s pearly kings and queens

27 April 2018

Russian designer Jenia Kim has unveiled a new fashion collection dedicated to Britain’s iconic Pearly Kings and Queens.

The London-based group — also known as Pearlies — was founded back in 1875, quickly becoming an iconic UK institution thanks to their richly-decorated costumes and tireless charity work. With black fabric and delicate mother-of-pearl detailing, the new capsule seeks to capture the same head-turning aesthetic and carefree spirit.

Shot by Russian photographer Katya Turkina, the collection lookbook features 80-year-old Pearly King George and his traditional suit — weighing an eye-watering 20kg.

As well as visiting the Pearlies in London, Kim was inspired by an imagined story of a Korean girl adopted into a family of Pearly Kings and Queens. As well as decorating her clothes with mother-of-pearl buttons, the make-believe Pearly Princess creates her own made-up language — a mixture of Russian and Korean — to mirror the Pearlies mysterious Cockney rhyming slang.

Some profits from the collection will go back to George and the Pearlies’ charitable causes — as well as the building of an official Pearly King and Queen Museum.

To see more of the collection, visit Jenia Kim’s website here.