In this digital age where the written word has migrated from the pages of books onto the screens of tablets and smart phones, it was refreshing to see a collection dedicated to the art of paper. The Palmer//Harding A/W14 show was staged at the Platform Theatre in Central Saint Martens, an appropriate space for an innovative and conceptual collection. I caught up with Levi and Mathew (Palmer and Harding respectively) the day after the show at the showrooms in Somerset house and they talked me through some of their ideas. The clothes tracked the progress of paper, from the clean sheet, to shredding, to fly away confetti pieces and eventually to pulp – ready to be recycled. The stationary theme continued with the use of paperclip fastenings and highlighter-luminous chartreuse.
Even though the ideas of the collection were abstract, the clothes were elegant and highly desirable. The luxuriant, rusty reds contrasted beautifully with the crisp whites and zingy chartreuse – like radioactive apple pie. I loved the swathes of floating fabric which adorned simple shifts and skirts with the paper clip motif – they had an off kilter beauty and edginess. The most covetable look of the collection was the chic red coat paired with stunning, high waisted trousers – the tailoring was scrupulous, clean and pure elegance.
One of my favourite moments of the show was when a couple of the models descended into a fit of giggles. It was lovely to peek behind the professional composure and glimpse genuine laugh and a smile.