For as long as this blog has existed we have extolled the virtures of owning a classic white shirt. The creations of British designer duo Levi Palmer and Matthew Harding, however, are anything but traditional.
The Central Saint Martin’s graduates launched their line, Palmer//Harding in 2012 and since then have been featured in magazines such as Vogue and i-D, show at London Fashion Week and were finalists of the Andam award in Paris.
Step-hem cotton shirtdress (left) and asymmetric waterfall-hem shirt (right)
The hype, as it turns out, is well deserved – the boys are masters at transforming a simple tailored shirt into a super chic fashion statement through innovative patterns, draping and other creative techniques. For spring for example, shirts are constructed then deconstructed so collars are lifted from the neck and sleeves are attached with ultra thin straps. Details include leather hand gilded in silver foil and 3D stripes that lift away from the main fabric of the shirt. Then you have a cool mix of materials – mixed cottons, linens, leather, lace, woven jacquards and stripes, Swarovski crystal and brass.
More recently, the duo launched Shirt Series, which is a line of contemporary priced women’s wear shirts and shirt-dresses that play with proportion and construction. Some silhouettes are super dramatic and include asymmetrical hems that move away from the body. Our favourite is the navy cotton poplin shirt dress which creates the perfect hourglass shape thanks to a gathered waist and side-seam slits. Who needs Alaia?