Designer Esther Perbandt got the assignment of the year when The Matrix Resurrections director Lana Wachowski asked her to create a gift for the film’s cast and crew. In classic Perbandt style, the resulting necklace asks the wearer to “Free Your Mind” while also displaying her wit, sharp aesthetic, and authenticity.
The necklace that Perbandt created is a sterling silver pill with high-quality gold plating. Etched along its side is the phrase, “Free Your Mind,” a Matrix motto of sorts. The necklace also is available as a limited-edition design to the public in either gold or sterling silver.
Perbandt is an artist, clothing designer, and accessories expert who may be best known to American audiences who watched her stand out against the best in fashion on Amazon’s Making the Cut. She stood out in part because she used only shades of black in her work, something that is true to the Berlin-based designer’s overall standard for design.
Wachowski also asked Perbandt to design her outfit as well as those for several guests and cast members to wear for the movie’s December premiere, an honor Perbandt enjoyed from the red carpet herself.
Here is Perbandt’s take on this once-in-a-lifetime experience in both creating the gold-pill necklace and participating in the Matrix legend.
This pill piece reminds me of your tooth pendant—realistic…slightly too realistic! That’s amazing to me. How did you want the pill to look?
For the premiere of her new Matrix movie, director Lana Wachowski asked me to create a unique set of jewelry as a present to the whole cast. Since red pill and blue pill were one of the core elements of the Matrix, Lana Wachowski asked for a gold-pill necklace to make the red-carpet day really special for the team. Of course, I could not deny such a wonderful idea and crafted something absolutely unique.
I wanted the pill to look as realistic as possible in order to make the connection to the movie very visible. But at the same time, it was meant to become more than a reminder of the movie, but a little treasure that you enjoy carrying very close to your skin. The pill is a massive sterling silver piece, which gives it a certain weight. That also makes it a high-end piece. The weight always makes you aware of wearing it because you feel the presence of it.
Why that phrase? It is a reminder of the movie, yes…but what else?
“Free Your Mind,” one of the core sentences of the Matrix series and a motto that could also have been chosen by myself. My daily mantra is, “Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” My inspiration is infinity, but this sentence describes more than anything the beautiful, generous, and creative mindset of Lana Wachowski herself. Talking to her is always wonderful, and [I] think of her words for some days afterwards.
How do you think jewelry expresses your design aesthetic?
I always loved jewelry a lot. When I was 8 years old, I started to do one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces with beads and silver wire and would sit in the streets on a blanket and sell them. I do wear a lot of jewelry on a daily basis, and I do feel naked whenever I don’t wear it. It became part of my identity. And it gives a never-ending shine to my black silhouette.
What else do you want people to know about you and your brand that doesn’t get written about enough?
Many people think that I am the muse of my own brand, and that only look-alikes can wear Esther Perbandt or that you have to do the allover look. But this is not true. I am a very inclusive brand, and my customers have the most diverse body types and sizes. You just need to overcome the inhibition level and start trying [on]. We usually always find something, and we started to do lots of made-to-measure things. And if you look at one single piece it is absolutely wearable and not necessarily avant-garde, and you can combine it with the things you already have at home.
Top: Esther Perbandt created an edgy yet elegant gold-pill necklace to honor the work of the cast and crew on the latest installment of the Matrix movie franchise (all photos courtesy of Esther Perbandt).
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