LFW: palmer//harding

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On a sunny morning, in the shadow of Buckingham Palace, a particularly stylish queue was forming outside the Institute of Contemporary Arts for the palmer//harding AW15 presentation. 
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After being ushered through the gallery and up a long circular staircase, we emerged into a beautiful high-ceilinged room, dappled in a mixture of spotlight and the wintery sunlight pouring through the windows. The grey walls were accentuated with white features, and in the centre of the dark wooden floor was a bed of wheat, ready to be harvested.image2

The slow, drumming beat of a version of Nina Simone’s Be My Husband announced the arrival of the models from an adjacent room, sauntering in and then along the borders of the wheat husks.10246864_10155249524675296_502044360881830175_n

Fans of the boys will know that they are renowned for their unrivalled shirting talent, and the collection certainly did not disappoint in this respect. Whilst not forgetting its traditional roots, illustrated in structured crisp, white blouses with embroidered collars, the designer duo have given the shirt a new life of its own. Loose button-downs in sensuous fabrics flowed throughout the line in many forms, from an asymmetrically-hemmed black shirt trench coat to a rippling purple shirt dress.image1 (4)

Although the designers’ signature monochrome was ever-present in the black and white striped and flecked pieces which opened the show, luxurious purples and navy blues infiltrated the collection. They wrapped themselves around hips in silhouette-hugging sarongs, peeked out under sheer tops and outerwear and enveloped the models in oversize, utilitarian capes and coats, providing canvas once again for the sand-toned embroidery which blended perfectly with the sun-baked atmosphere created in the room.

As the applause welcomed the models back into the room for one last circuit, it was clear that palmer//harding have created a beautifully cohesive collection, combining strong, structured fabrics with fluid silks and satins to create simple sophistication. Autumn cannot come fast enough.

Written for WJ London.