If you should walk into the exhibition space at London Fashion Week this season you are sure to be immediately greeted with a warm smile from Levi Palmer, one half of the design duo behind fashion label palmer//harding. And he has plenty of reasons to be smiling. Their exhibition space is located next door to other bright, young things, J JS Lee and Simone Rocha, who amongst others have all received Newgen sponsorship for SS13 – an accolade which more often than not spells a label destined for future stardom.
Levi will undoubtedly soon be joined by sartorial partner in crime, Matthew Harding, (who is equally smiley) and the pair will more often than not launch into an explanation of their SS13 womenswear collection, which they are at LFW to showcase. Whilst chatting to them the term ‘small focus range’ will keep cropping up as the pair are clearly keen to emphasize the minimal aesthetic of the collection.
So the story goes, their initial inspiration came from a late-nineties look, confident and clean, leading them to base the entire collection around the shirt. Focusing on cut and fit, rather than pattern and colour (you can choose from white, pale aquamarine or orange), the range offers lightweight pieces with clever hidden tailoring technicalities that they say provide the dual function of adding practicality and improving the silhouette.
Every piece is made in the same crisp cotton and the sheer range of shirts on offer (sleeveless, shirtdresses, skirts inspired by shirts – you name it they’ve done it) is a great testament to the skill of these designers. Now just two years old, if palmer//harding can continue to deliver looks of this calibre it won’t be long before those smiles become the heartiest of laughs.
Text by Zoe Dickens