Friday 4th October

| BY Dino Bonacic

Symonds Pearmain: Ready-to-wear SS20

While some designers poetically laud about “their woman” being aspirational with her incredibly aloof character and semi-mystical aura, Max Pearmain and Anthony Symonds focus on the reality of things. The character they dress is a neurotic woman on the run, using her fashion to revolt against the plasticity that makes her everyday environment. Let’s be real – all of us carry a bit of that woman in us, perhaps even more so at the end of the gruelling weeks that make up fashion month. And so this woman entered the auditorium of the Frieze Art Fair, her heels taped up to her schoolgirl socks, simultaneously hyper-aware and lost in her own surroundings. Symonds Pearmain represent the merging of old and new school – Max being a stylist of the new generation and Anthony representing the 1990s scene, having worked with Galliano and Westwood before shifting into the art world. Both give a sense of an impeccable taste as they recreate the fashion pastiches into fresh garments, ready to be worn on the streets of tomorrow.

For SS20, the duo continued their collaboration with Matches Fashion, having already shown their past collection at the retailer’s Townhouse on Mount Street during London Fashion Week in February. The venue for this season was the perfect setting for what Symonds Pearmain stand for – reconsidering dress codes of the past with a sense of satire and intelligence. Was this a performance on the Frieze schedule? Or just your regular fashion show? Well, a little bit of both actually. The context of Symonds Pearmain clothes adds depth to the rehashing of the past. 1940s via 1980s in the shape of workwear and uniforms give new life to ideas we would previously dismiss as “girly” or “old fashioned”. Snap buttons created a customisable factor to the garments which came in a whole variety of textiles – wools, denims, canvas and leather were all in the mix. Regardless the artistic intention behind them, these clothes are made to be worn out, rough and ready for the neurotic reality.

Photographs by Anna Stokland for Matches Fashion.