7 posts tagged "Matthew Harding"
Everyone knows their Marcs from their Calvins. But as fashion month rolls on, we’ll be spotlighting the up-and-coming designers and indie brands whose names you’ll want to remember.
Label: Palmer//Harding, designed by Levi Palmer and Matthew Harding
Need to know: Levi Palmer and Matthew Harding, who met on the menswear BA at Central Saint Martins, have been steadily developing the white shirt since the inception of their label in 2011. An obsession with construction, quality, and fit has seen Palmer//Harding move the classic white shirt through several seasons, and now it feels like their minimalistic brand has come of age. For Fall ’14, the duo showed twenty-eight looks, only twelve of which featured shirts. The rest of the collection was given over to wide trousers, streamlined miniskirts, and elegant and more mature outerwear, all marked by the same restraint and quiet beauty.
New colors were introduced for Fall, too. There were splashes of chartreuse and carmine against the backdrop of pristine paper-white. “We were calling it ‘highlighter yellow,’” the designers explained. “For the trousers and the simpler pieces, we looked to the sculptor Richard Serra, specifically how he treated his metallic monolithic sculptures. For us, it was a nice synergy with the new colors and fabrics.”
All in all, this was an impressive evolution for Palmer//Harding, one that proved that simple ideas can translate into consummate closet staples.
They say:“We were thinking about paper, and we started to think about things like rule books, too,” Palmer told Style.com. “We’ve spent the past two years really learning about craft and techniques to make the most beautiful shirts. So now we thought: Let’s throw the rule book out, and let’s have fun and push it as far as we could.”
Where to find it: Fivestory in New York, Ikram in Boston, Dover Street Market in London and Tokyo, and online at my-wardrobe.com.
The white shirt is having a moment at LC:M—but it’s not the boring wardrobe staple kind. First up was Massimo Casagrande, who put rubber and graphic details on his impeccably tailored tops at Fashion East. Then there was Alastair Guy’s new exhibition, White Shirts, which debuted via a private view at the Century Club last night. The photographer lensed the likes of David Gandy, Luke Evans, and Todd Lynn in crisp white wares, and showed us how the right subject can make the oft ordinary look extraordinary.
Emerging brand Palmer//Harding (designed by Levi Palmer and Matthew Harding), too, proved just how covetable a white shirt can be. “We feel the white shirt is a neglected bit of a man’s wardrobe,” offered Palmer. “Yes, they can be beautifully done and impeccably tailored, but they are always thought of as layering pieces, and we want to make the white shirt the star of the show.”
For their second official menswear collection, Palmer and Harding aimed to inject the ease and attitude of a T-shirt into more traditional shirting options. And they did just that with an artfully constructed button-down with a built-in jersey tee feature, asymmetrical options, their now-signature spiral pleat back, and their amusing reverse mullet shirt. “Yellow in the front is the party bit and white in the back is the business end,” explained Palmer.
Trousers with neon belt-loop details, a chartreuse biker jacket, and a teal suede tunic rounded out the collection, and demonstrated why the duo have already caught the eye of stockists like Dover Street Market and Ikram. “I find that men can be quite timid in their fashion choices,” said Palmer. “They want something traditional, but they also need something a little fashion-y to break up the same old, same old. Our collection is still safe—but we hope there’s a lot of modernity in it.”
Everyone knows their Marcs from their Calvins. But as fashion month kicks into gear, we’ll be spotlighting the up-and-coming designers and indie brands whose names you’ll want to remember.
Label: Palmer//Harding, designed by Levi Palmer and Matthew Harding
Need to know: Five seasons in, the duo behind ready-to-wear line Palmer//Harding has taken on that daunting task for all fledgling designers: to incorporate the right balance of commerciality and wearability without sacrificing their vision and principles. For Spring ’14, which marked the brand’s debut runway show, the pair presented twenty-two looks for a real wardrobe, with approximately sixty separates that highlighted the brand’s pièce de résistance—the shirt. Made primarily of poplins, water-resilient cottons, and jerseys in whites and blue hues, their looks had a strong focus on pattern cutting (the designer’s strengths) and subtle details, from spiral pleating to playful snap bracelets that served as structured cuffs. The show was set to the sounds of a thunderstorm—the handiwork of Malcolm Pate, who designed a set of steel rods which hung from the ceiling. The range’s Spring girls zigzagged down the catwalk, conceding any attempt to escape the downpour.
They say: “This season has a youthful and carefree attitude that captures the liberating spirit of getting caught in a thunderstorm,” offered Palmer. But their starting point, as with each season, is simple. “We wanted different silhouettes and separates that contextualized the shirts,” explained Harding. “The shirt is what we built our business around.”
Where to find it: Fivestory and Curve in New York, Louis Boston in Boston, and Forty Five Ten in Dallas, among others.
“It’s easy to go to extremes in fashion,” Palmer//Harding’s Matthew Harding told Style.com. This is especially true in London, where crazed creativity and over-the-top theatrics are to be expected. But, best known for their strict range of directional men’s and women’s shirts, Harding and his design partner, Levi Palmer, are proving that resisting the charms of London’s raucous avant-garde and favoring the middle ground needn’t be uninspiring. “For us, it’s about finding a balance between these two worlds—between what’s wearable and what’s interesting,” explained Harding.
Yesterday, Palmer and Harding, who were recently awarded a NEWGEN sponsorship, introduced their Spring ’14 menswear collection at London’s Hospital Club with a new fashion film. Directed by the designers and lensed by Boys by Girls editor in chief Cecilie Harris, the film, which makes its online debut above, sees its protagonist plunge, fully clothed, into a copper bathtub. According to Palmer, the shirts moving in water are representative of cleansing—a concept that’s integral to the pair’s design process. Stripped of all excess, Palmer//Harding’s latest menswear collection offers eleven shirts based off of the greatest hits from the last four seasons. There’s the trademark spiral pleating, the color-blocking, and Harding’s favorite—a crisp navy poplin with an overlay of crepe. If their womenswear is out to set the mood with its sweeping trains and voluminous tops, then surely menswear caters to craftsmanship. “London has a tendency to challenge menswear,” said Palmer. “Men don’t necessarily want to be challenged. Men want simplicity.”
Levi Palmer and Matthew Harding launched Palmer//Harding four seasons ago as a line that strictly offered shirts. Since, the London-based Central Saint Martins graduates have won NEWGEN sponsorship (they presented on schedule at London fashion week for the first time this season) and their constantly evolving range has been picked up by high-profile retailers like Dover Street Market, Fivestory, Louis Boston, and Moda Operandi. Looking at their Fall '13, it’s not hard to see why. The collection—their most comprehensive to date—features clean, voluminous blouses with long, sometimes floor-length trains, sculpted skirts, and shapely jackets in adventurous textiles (the most exciting of which was a “tarred” wool that Harding likened to antique leather or a “sticky cinema floor”), and sharp black trousers.
In case there was any doubt, the designers have made it clear that they can do more than just shirts. Heck, even the shirts are more than just shirts. One cotton poplin oxford looks simple from the front and then, surprise!, it’s backless. Some styles came with intricate embellishments on the sleeves, collar, or waist, and other silk/cotton voile versions incorporated gentle pleating to achieve a fluid femininity. “There are 15 different shirts in the collection. The shirt is still the star,” said Palmer. Harding added, “We just wanted to show people more of our mood, and our world, and we needed the separates to push that.”