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March 27, 2012

The Elevation of the Shirt

Palmer//Harding was my favorite new discovery at the London Showrooms in NYC.  The designers elaborate on the simple idea of a button-down shirt, and with inventive techniques and a monastically clean aesthetic create pieces that are subtle and graceful, like haute couture for everyday.

One of the most exquisite pieces would have to be this shirt-jacket with a back pleat detail supported by grosgrain backing.

Palmer//Harding Fall 2012: a shirt with a back pleat detail similar to the jacket above, and a shirt draped with back panels in cotton crepe

What fascinated me about Palmer//Harding’s work was the inventiveness in making use of relatively common materials to create details that elevate the everyday shirt into something that feels more like couture: grosgrain ribbon as weight or as soft boning, panels of semi-sheer cotton crepe laid over for texture and silhouette, small curtain weights sewn in for drape.  It seemed like a harkening back to Coco Chanel’s infamous sewing of metal chains on to the hems of her jackets to make them hang well, reinvented in a manner that is wearable, modern and relevant.

a grosgrain back-belt adds weight and shape to this vaguely Edwardian-inspired long shirt

a shirt with cotton crepe overlay, and the same Edwardian shirt above

Small curtain weights concealed in grosgrain enhance the drape of the garment.

shoulders details: canvas shoulder panels and soft, petal-like shoulder pleats

Palmer//Harding's Levi Palmer in a pale green shirt from the Spring 2012 collection

I look forward to seeing to what heights they bring the simple shirt in the next few seasons, and possibly, what other iconic garments they choose to expertly reinvent.

lookbook photographs via Palmer//Harding


  • Danny
    March 27th, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    Very creative!

  • Michael
    March 28th, 2012 at 2:36 am

    This appeals to my sense of fancy.

  • Adrian D
    March 28th, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    I really like the first jacket. It’s like a pipe organ!

  • Sean
    March 28th, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    super cool! #want

  • Sophia S
    March 28th, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    I would totally wear the Edwardian shirt and the one with back panels!

  • Hannah
    March 29th, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    Interesting! I love your blog, Mr. Dandy!!!

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