Good things from London Fashion Week: palmer//harding

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Just occasionally when you attend London Fashion Week, you come across clothes that could slip right into your wardrobe that day, which you could wear tomorrow and would make everything you already own just a little bit more fabulous. That’s how I felt about these palmer//harding shirts, made from exquisitely heavy  silk and high thread-count cotton in a strictly edited colour range of bone, white, tar and black.

The tightly edited collection is designed by Matthew Harding and Levi Palmer and this is their fourth season of perfecting shirts. Not only were these two talented chaps using fabric so lovely I found it hard to let go of once I started stroking it, but they clearly understood the need for a shirt to be both feminine and practical, beautiful and useful. The only down side is the price, the above collection is for autumn winter 2013, but Dover Street Market has a selection for this spring and there’s nothing cheap in that shop (upwards of £300 I believe).

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But today we are just admiring and price aside, Matthew and Levi (pictures below) deserve to do well, they are young, talented and committed, as well as being jolly nice, Matthew talked me through his cotton thread count -Cotton USA has sponsored the range and has allowed them to use beautiful fabric that ranges from 80 to 160 thread counts per inch, meaning the fabric is smooth and silky and will easily hold the architectural shapes of the shirts. The lines of tiny cotton rose-buds that decorate the shirts are all made by hand, inspired by the cotton cuff links seen on mens shirts.

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The attention to the tiny details are heartening, from deep cuffs, hidden internal supports for a beautiful fit, gentle gathers and pleats to add volume and generous hemlines to flow over skirts or trousers. It’s a really grown up, contemporary collection that has ‘modern classic’ written all over it.

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Below left is my favourite shirt in heavy cream silk, those back pin pleats and the deep cuffs are perfect, although I can’t help thinking you might need to invest in a good iron or steamer. The presentation in the exhibition space at Somerset House was created by set designer Thomas Bird and cleverly allowed you right up close to the shirts to appreciate them, it’s surprisingly unusual to be so contemplative about clothes at the show, usually we wizz through on the way from one catwalk location to another,

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I hope more retailers pick up the shirts for autumn, meanwhile you could check out Dover Street Market for this season’s versions -equally as beautiful- or check the website for stockists in the US and Europe.

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Just in, this lovely video explaining how the boys work and inspiration behind the collection…

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