I have loved the Cockney button covered clothes for a long time, amused by the creativity, intrigued by the history.  I came upon some pieces made using this iconic style and I decided to research the whole concept a little. 

"Pearly Kings and Queens, known as pearlies, are an organised charitable tradition of working class culture in London, England. The practice of wearing clothes decorated with pearl buttons originated in the 19th century. It is first associated with Henry Croft, an orphan street sweeper who collected money for charity. In 1911 an organised pearly society was formed in Finchley, north London. Each group is associated with a church in central London and works to raise money for London-based charities." -wikepedia
The magnificent suits, hats and dresses, handed down together with hereditary titles, are sewn with mystic symbols, stars, moons, suns, flowers, diamonds, Trees of Life, Eyes of God and fertility designs. Each outfit can have as many as 30,000 buttons on it and can weigh as much as 30 kilograms or more.- historic-uk.com

I suggest you look up these sites if the topic interests you. It is all very instructive.

Some authentic pieces are on display in the Museum of London.

What I love best of all are the interpretations of artists, artisans and designers, most of them British, of course.

for Queen Elixabeth's 80th birthday
Lulu Guiness' apartment  via mirrormirror

world of interiors

Designers and artisans

via roomservice

Social Suicide via pingmag


tatty divine


Lulu Guiness-Ann Carington

Maybe you will be inspired to recycle the million orphaned buttons in your button box...

au revoir.


  1. So fascinating. I have never seen anything like it.
    Mary Ann

  2. I've seen this before and love it, how cute are those kids?