11 posts tagged "Palmer/Harding"
“I like a lot of embellishment and I like a lot of print,” said Holly Fulton. She might have been speaking for all her fellow English designers at the London Showrooms, the traveling, British Fashion Council-sponsored showcase which arrived in New York this week, following a stint in L.A. It’s almost a cliché that London designers trend bright and buzzy, but it’s become something of a calling card for the young talents nurtured by the BFC. To tweak the old saw, go big or stay home.
Fulton served up her groupie-inspired Fall collection, which featured lava-rock embellishments, hand-drawn prints, and a rather impressive dress constructed entirely of feathers. Others, like Simone Rocha (above), who’s currently selling stateside in Jeffrey and Opening Ceremony, offered less print but more color. Her key pieces were voluminous waffle-knitted neoprene looks in what she laughingly referred to as “Pepto pink.” Thomas Tait also played on unexpected fusion of spongy, bonded leather and quilted nylon in Day-Glo oranges and lime greens. “I feel like I’ve been shouting,” said Tait, whose line is also carried at Jeffrey. “I’ll be doing something mellower next season.”
Meanwhile, Fyodor Golan, designed by Fyodor Podgorny and Golan Frydman, balanced elegant, elaborately embellished print dresses with more playful leather pieces embossed with smiley faces. Turns out Smiley—the company that owns the rights to the icon—approached the duo for a collaboration, and they jumped at the chance to create, as Frydman put it, a “sexual smiley.” Another duo, Teatum Jones (that is to say, Catherine Teatum and Rob Jones) showed bright, seemingly tie-dyed dresses in perforated bonded jersey, as well as a few particularly interesting coats in latex-coated alpaca wool. Yet a third duo, Palmer//Harding, also in attendance, used a similarly clever technique on their wools to make them look like leather.
Men’s designers were on display, too, and they came with news to share. James Long whispered that half the designers showing on the Paris calendar had called to personal-order his sweater knitted with a giant picture of Divine. Agi Mdumulla and Sam Cotton of Agi & Sam had news of an offbeat football (read: soccer) and owl-inspired capsule collection they’ll launch at Topman next month. And jeweler Dominic Jones revealed he’ll show his first-ever men’s collection during June’s London Collections: Men. In the meantime, he was showing his mainline collection as well as his recently-launched lower priced range, DJ by Dominic Jones. “I wanted to make something that all my friends could afford,” he said when asked about the gold-plated and bright enamel collection of baubles, which average about $100 apiece.
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.”
Milan may be known for fashion powerhouses like Prada, Gucci, and Versace, but it seems the city has room for the little guy, too. Since 2011, YOOX Group’s luxury e-boutique, Thecorner.com, and Vogue Italia have been supporting emerging talents through their initiative The Vogue Talents Corner—a project that both highlights up-and-coming designers with an exhibition during Milan fashion week, and helps them build a retail presence by offering their wares on the shopping site. This year, the initiative champions eleven young ready-to-wear and accessories brands from across the globe, like Palmer//Harding (a shirt-centric range by Levi Palmer and Matthew Harding), Kristy Ward (necklace pictured left), Kzeniya (an accessories line by Kzeniya Oudenot, clutch pictured left) Vs2R (a footwear label by Vincenzo Somarrelli, pictured left) and J JS Lee (a ready-to-wear line by Jackie Lee, top pictured left). Each brand will showcase its Fall ’13 collection in an installation at the Palazzo Morando, which opens tonight. “For the most part, it’s instinct. And sometimes it’s simply what we like!” said Yoox.com founder and CEO Federico Marchetti when asked about the selection process. Marchetti explained that he looks for designers who exemplify creativity and innovation, and that this year he was particularly impressed by the group’s focus on craftsmanship and “excellent” materials. Looks from the eleven selected designers’ Spring ’13 collections will be available from today, on www.thecorner.com.
Twenty-four designers, including Thomas Tait (pictured), J. JS Lee, and Palmer//Harding’s Levi Palmer and Matthew Harding, are in New York today as part of London Show Rooms’ 48-hour showcase to attract more interest in U.K. labels and bring attention to the debut of London Collections: Men (June 15 to 17). The inaugural men’s program will officially launch with a reception at St. James’s Palace hosted by the Prince of Wales.
Tait, the young designer who took home the Dorchester Collection Fashion Prize award in 2010, has been steadily increasing his U.S. presence ever since. Most recently, the Canadian-born designer reports, he collaborated with pro skateboarder Keith Hufnagel, creating a collection of limited-edition baseball hats for his Huf line, in addition to teaming up with Cutler & Gross on a capsule collection and consulting for a major U.S. brand (a name he can’t yet reveal).
London is a hotbed of young talent in fashion, and the city is known for supporting the young, the wild, and the penniless like few other fashion capitals. Just in time for London fashion week, Style.com checked in with three of the city’s most exciting emerging designers. Today, meet Levi Palmer and Matthew Harding, the duo behind Palmer//Harding.
Considering London’s young designers are known for their conceptual, if not eccentric edge, it took a lot of guts for newcomers Levi Palmer, 30, and Matthew Harding, 26, to launch something as simple as a shirt line. But the savvy design duo, nominated for this year’s ANDAM Award, didn’t want to rush into things. “I think shirts are a neglected garment,” Harding tells Style.com. “We eventually want to do a full line, but this allows us to take it sensibly and slowly.”
For their debut at London fashion week, with the support of NEWGEN, the Central Saint Martins-trained designers pulled inspiration from the youthful naïveté found in Ingar Krauss’ photographs of juvenile delinquents for their 17 men’s shirts and 17 women’s shirts. “There was a loneliness in her photography that was really beautiful,” says Palmer. Harding adds, “We also looked at thirties couture references, so it’s kind of naïveté mixed with sophistication.”
As one might deduct from the designers’ influences, an ordinary shirt brand this is not. The gray, white, and dusty mint collection features a mix of organic spiral details as well as tight accordion pleats. Rubberized metal accents on pockets and cuffs and grosgrain detailing enhance the handcrafted feel of their wearable works. But the Egyptian cotton shirts aren’t too precious because, as Harding explains, “the shirts are special, quality pieces but we want them to be lived in as well.”