The shirt redefined by the Saint Martins graduates
Shirt label palmer//harding are Levi Palmer, from Texas and Matthew Harding, from London. With a backround in menswear and womenswear at Saint Martins between them, they have made it their mission to constantly define and redefine the shirt for men and women, playing with proportion, cutting and detail to create their own idiosyncrasy.
Dazed Digital: Can you tell us about your design philosophy?
palmer//harding: From the start we decided our capabilities would be presented in a more pure fashion if our focus was more refined. This focus was directed at a single garment, the shirt, which we felt had been a neglected item in most designer's ranges. palmer//harding is about taking this classic staple and applying our Central Saint Martins education to it – pushing it past the point of a wardrobe basic and alllowing each piece to stand alone as a directional garment. One of our key signatures is the innovative and complex pattern cutting that goes into each shirt. Every piece is deceptively simple.
DD: How is the Autumn/Winter 12 collection looking?
palmer//harding: This season has a lot of reference to contemporary sculpture, a subject we do look at quite often. We've been inspired by the wooden sculptures of Bruno Walpoth and the photography of George Platt Lynes. Materials remain similar to last season, all in 100% Swiss and Egyptian cottons, however we have searched for fabrics which present a subtle yet notable contrast in texture to reference our inspirations. I think the key pieces this season would have to be the Tunic shape which has reference in historical shirtmaking.
DD: Did you draw upon anything else?
palmer//harding: Grunge, to create a sophisticated off-balance.
DD: You've also worked on a video campaign...
palmer//harding: We worked with the same team as last season to build the Autumn/Winter 12 imagery. For the look book it was photographer Duane Nasis, and for the video we worked with stylist Anders Thomsen and director Malcolm Pate, debuting at the BFC Cinema Space during Fashion Week. The image with the model you see is a teaser still from the video. Of course this won't be released publicly until closer to the Autumn/Winter season but you can check out their accomplished work in our Spring/Summer 12 video for the time being.