FAULT Feature: palmer // harding

Christy’s “Panthera Onca” image used as the invitation to their LFW presentation

This self-proclaimed ‘anti-fashion’ design duo find beauty in the simple things. Amidst the flashy fabrics and bold colours that dominated London Fashion Week, palmer // harding’s quietly stunning designs were a breath of fresh air. Levi Palmer spoke to FAULT about the concept behind their latest collection, their collaboration with photographer Christy Lee Rogers, and why he and his partner have chosen to buck the trend.

Christy is represented by The Art Collector (an art platform that is part of the same media group as FAULT) and FAULT featured art dynamo Fraser Kee Scott.


Where did you get your inspiration for the collection?

When Matthew and I were thinking about the collection we pulled references from things that we just found inspiring – beautiful images – then we put all these images together and sort of dissected them and tried to understand them. We saw that there was this contrast and conflict in all our references, especially Christy’s*, and how there is this deep emotion and this deep beauty but at the same time this darkness. That helped to lead us in a lot of directions – the idea of fluidity and the austerity. It worked its way into the idea of beginning as something very austere, like what presidential wives wear, and then moving into something more poetic and bohemian.

Then you have other things in terms of textures like the tar fabrics, which are quite sticky, but then you have the purity of these beautiful cotton USA fabrics that are just so sumptuous but still very clean and innocent. For us it was a real pleasure to be able to use Christy’s work on our invitation because it was one of the main images that we were looking at constantly. It represented those dualities in one single piece.



How did you come up with the idea of these beautiful French knots which feature in a lot of your pieces?

We always like the idea of craftsmanship and French knots were something that we really loved. We worked with this amazing manufacturer and just kept saying “bigger, bigger, bigger.” It was quite interesting because it sort of reminded us of the bubbles in Christy’s work.

Your work is very simple in comparison to a lot of the things we see at Fashion Week – almost, ‘anti-fashion’, to use your words.

It’s ‘anti-fashion’ in the sense that for us, if you can’t wear it it’s not fashion. It’s really about not screaming and – we don’t want our clothes to be flamboyant. They need to be beautiful, they need to be stunning, but they don’t need to be like the rest of it. There’s enough noise, there’s enough print, there’s enough colour in London Fashion Week and sometimes people need a break. When you give them that sorbet, it actually sticks with them and that’s the piece that they remember.


Do have any exciting upcoming plans?

We have some possible collaborations with some French luxury houses in the future which would be really exciting though I can’t confirm anything. We want to continue to develop the menswear range because right now it’s small in focus. But we want to make sure that we allow time to develop a consumer and to understand who our main consumer is before we push too far.

We definitely want to try and break into the menswear fashion season but because we’re such a small team, if it demands too much of our time we don’t want it to hurt either aspect of the brand. If we can get one aspect to be sustainable then we can start to sustain the next aspect. I think that’s very ‘anti-fashion’, to take such a sensible approach. It’s about business and it’s about creativity but it’s also about making smart steps and not letting your ego control decisions. For example, the reason our label is all lower-case is because its not supposed to be about us.

Check out the behind-the-scenes video of their collection:


WORDS: Rebecca Unger